An authoritative history of the course that British painting took after the war, Modernists & Mavericks excels in engaging pen-portraits of iconic artists and bon viveurs, as well as teasing out fascinating connections between various denizens of bohemian post-war Soho. Entertaining and enlightening in equal measure.
Martin Gayford's masterful account of painting in London from the Second World War to the 1970s, illustrated by documentary photographs and the works themselves.
The development of painting in London from the Second World War to the 1970s is the story of interlinking friendships, shared experiences and artistic concerns among a number of acclaimed artists, including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Gillian Ayres, Frank Bowling and Howard Hodgkin.
Drawing on extensive first-hand interviews, many previously unpublished, with important witnesses and participants, the art critic Martin Gayford teases out the thread connecting these individual lives, and demonstrates how painting thrived in London against the backdrop of Soho bohemia in the 1940s and 1950s and ‘Swinging London’ in the 1960s.
He shows how, influenced by such different teachers as David Bomberg and William Coldstream, and aware of the work of contemporaries such as Jackson Pollock as well as the traditions of Western art from Piero della Francesca to Picasso and Matisse, the postwar painters were allied in their confidence that this ancient medium, in opposition to photography and other media, could do fresh and marvellous things. They asked the question ‘what can painting do?’ and explored in their diverse ways, but with equal passion, the possibilities of paint.
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Number of pages: 392
Weight: 400 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
'… in this accomplished book, full of anecdotes and apercus, there is hardly an anodyne figure' - The Times
'...an exciting story…if you are interested in modern British art, the book is unputdownable. If you are not, read it. You soon will be.' - The FT
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As soon as this title hit our shelves I knew I had to have it! I was then delighted to have the opportunity to beg the publisher for a free copy. This is one of those seminal titles which brings fresh light and... More
“A well constructed and enjoyable read”
I thought I knew quite a lot about the artists of this period
so I was surprised by the amount of fresh information that
Martin has supplied.
It was good to see Sam Rabin mentioned in the text, sometimes
the lesser... More
“Martin Gayford strikes again.”
The book can easily make you forget the noise of babies crying, people on the phone and the rest of being on a plane, a train or a bus. Having read many Gayford books, this was one of the books I was most eager read,... More
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