This Dark Country: Women Artists, Still Life and Intimacy in the Early Twentieth Century (Hardback)
  • This Dark Country: Women Artists, Still Life and Intimacy in the Early Twentieth Century (Hardback)
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This Dark Country: Women Artists, Still Life and Intimacy in the Early Twentieth Century (Hardback)

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£25.00
Hardback 384 Pages / Published: 19/08/2021
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Waterstones Says

Combining biography and criticism, Birrell’s fascinating and thought-provoking examination of early twentieth-century women artists, still life and realms of intimacy discusses the creative world of Ethel Sands, Vanessa Bell, Dora Carrington and many more.

Lemons gleam in a bowl. Flowers fan out softly in a vase. A door swings open in a sparsely furnished room. What is contained in a still life - and what falls out of the frame?

For women artists in the early twentieth century, including Ethel Sands, Nina Hamnett, Vanessa Bell and Gwen John, who lived in and around the Bloomsbury Group, this art form was a conduit for their lives, their rebellions, their quiet loves for men and women.

Gluck, who challenged the framing of her gender and her art, painted flowers arranged by the woman she loved; Dora Carrington, a Slade School graduate, recorded eggs on a table at Tidmarsh Mill, where she built a richly fulfilling if delicate life with Lytton Strachey. But for every artist we remember, there is one we have forgotten; who leaves only elusive traces; whose art was replaced by being a mother or wife; whose remaining artworks lie dusty in archives or attics.

In this boldly original blend of group biography and art criticism, Rebecca Birrell brings these shadowy figures into the light and conducts a dazzling investigation into the structures of intimacy that make - and dismantle - our worlds.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781526604019
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 718 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'[A] wonderful book. I am impressed and fascinated. It is beautifully written. Each woman artist, in this superb book, addresses the need to transform the confines she inhabits into a space of empowerment. These artists all lived and worked in the first part of the twentieth century yet their legacy continues to be relevant' - Celia Paul

'A brilliant book ... A truly radical aesthetics fit for the twenty-first century at last!' - Therese Oulton

'A beautifully written and important art historical work, This Dark Country is a magnificent debut by one of Britain's most electrifying new talents. I cannot wait to read what she writes next!' - Camilla Grudova, author of The Doll's Alphabet

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Hardback

“The hidden lives of women painters.”

This an interesting book; part biography and part art criticism of ten 20th century British women artists.

What separates Birrell’s work for others is the focus on telling the story of these artists’ lives through a... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 4
Katy Wheatley

“A New Way of Reading Paintings”

Birrell takes us into the lives of women artists, some of whose life and works were barely recognised in their own lifetime and who, until now, have been all but forgotten. Each chapter deals with an artist and their... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

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