Modernists & Mavericks : Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters - the exhibition catalogue from Museum Bookstore available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Modernists & Mavericks : Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters

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'An exceptionally lively, emotional, affectionate and compelling account of painters in the London village in the post-war period' - The Tablet

A masterfully narrated account of painting in London from the Second World War to the 1970s, illustrated throughout with documentary photographs and works of art

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Drawing on extensive first-hand interviews, many previously unpublished, with important witnesses and participants, the art critic Martin Gayford teases out the thread connecting these individual lives, and demonstrates how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.

Details
  • Author: Martin Gayford
  • Paperwork: 392 pages | 114 illustrations
  • Date published: July 2019
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0500294703
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.1 cm
Reviews

'Gayford's entertainingly seamless insights made outsiders feel like insiders' - Prospect

'An exceptionally lively, emotional, affectionate and compelling account of painters in the London village in the post-war period' - The Tablet

'This encyclopedic study of Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach and the greatest generation of British visual artists since Turner's time is informed by a deep love and understanding of modern painting' - Sunday Times

'An impressive conspectus of the post-war British art world' -  Country Life

'The real triumph of the book is the survival of the medium of paint itself ... it is a survival story, one of victory, and also one of legacy' - Elephant

'[A] wonderful overview ... a book rich in both anecdotes and aperçus' - New Statesman

'An important, authoritative work of art criticism that recognises schools of painters, yet displays the superior distinctions of individual geniuses' - Spectator

'If you are interested in modern British art, the book is unputdownable. If you are not, read it. You soon will be' - Financial Times

'Gayford recounts the artists lives and their travails with sympathy and understanding ... wonderfully accomplished book' - The Times

'[Gayford] has a gift for sustaining conversations that unfold across decades' - The Guardian


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