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Modernists & mavericks : Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London painters / Martin Gayford.

By: Gayford, Martin, 1952-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London, England : Thames and Hudson, 2019Copyright date: ©2018Description: 352 pages : illustrations (black and white, and colour) ; 20 cm.Content type: text | still image Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0500294704; 9780500294703.Other title: Modernists and mavericks.Subject(s): Bacon, Francis, 1909-1992 -- Criticism and interpretation | Freud, Lucian -- Criticism and interpretation | Auerbach, Frank, 1931- -- Criticism and interpretation | Hockney, David -- Criticism and interpretation | Riley, Bridget, 1931- -- Criticism and interpretation | Ayres, Gillian, 1930- -- Criticism and interpretation | Bowling, Frank, 1936- -- Criticism and interpretation | Hodgkin, Howard, 1932-2017 -- Criticism and interpretation | Painting, English -- 20th century | Painting, British -- 20th century | School of London (Group of artists) | Painters -- England -- London -- 20th century | London (England) -- Intellectual life -- 20th centuryDDC classification: 759.209045 Summary: "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 Drawing on extensive first-hand interviews, many previously unpublished, with important witnesses and participants, the art critic Martin Gayford teases out the thread connecting these individual lives, and demonstrates how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."-- Provided by publisher.
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Non-Fiction Davis (Central) Library
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Non-Fiction (NEST) 759.2 GAY Checked out 07/01/2020

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Sunday Times Art Book of the Year 2018 'If you are interested in modern British art, the book is unputdownable. If you are not, read it.' - Grey Gowrie, Financial Times 'All the good stories, and more, are here ... this is a genuinely encyclopaedic work, unlike anything else I have come across on the topic, informed by a deep love and understanding of modern painting. Everybody interested in the subject should read it.' - Andrew Marr, Sunday Times 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.

Includes bibliographical references and index.


"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."-- Provided by publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Booklist Review

I'm speaking here for a young man who no longer exists and of whom I'm a rather distant representative, the British painter Frank Auerbach told Gayford (David Hockney, 2012). Nevertheless, through interviews, anecdotes, and ample illustrations, Gayford brings to life London's postwar art world. Its stars, Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud, dine together daily, driving Freud's wife mad. William Green, who made paintings on the floor using his feet and a bicycle, is mercilessly mocked in a popular film. The Beatles stage an early photoshoot in front of a Robyn Denny mural. Gayford lionizes these men there are very few women and amplifies their mystique. But if the artists are elusive, the work they made is not. An art critic for the Spectator, Gayford capably describes and interprets the work: Auerbach's canvases sticky with thickly applied oils; Sandra Blow working with cement, chaff, and charcoal; the skilled clarity and subtlety of line in David Hockney's drawings. By focusing on the art, Gayford convinces readers that postwar-London artists were right: painting really can do marvelous things.--Maggie Taft Copyright 2018 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

An eminent British critic casts a spotlight on a major period of art history in London.According to Spectator art critic Gayford (History of Art/Univ. of Buckingham; Michelangelo: His Epic Life, 2013, etc.), the paintings that came out of London from 1945 to 1970 are artistically significant yet less celebrated than those of cubist Paris or Renaissance Venice. This book, an attempt to correct the oversight, is a survey of the noteworthy figures from this era, from William Coldstream, co-founder of the Euston Road School of painting, to the era's most famous innovators. Among them are Francis Bacon, whose "pursuit of a realism that would activate the nervous system" led him to such experiments as incorporating dust into a gray flannel suit in his painting Figure in a Landscape (1945); Lucian Freud, creator of unflattering nudes that "were among the most radically unclassical ever seen"; and David Hockney, whose groundbreaking portraits of fellow gay men, "clarity and subtlety of line," and innovative rendering of the play of light on California pools, made him one of Britain's most renowned painters. Gayford acknowledges that these artists had no "coherent movement or stylistic group," and the book suffers for it: chapters feel randomly organized rather than unified. However, this is still a fascinating look at postwar London artists, filled with entertaining figures, such as the Cornwall neighbor who thought so little of the work Bacon produced during a brief residence there that, when the artist returned to London, the neighbor "used some of Bacon's paintings on hardboard to mend a hen-house roof."Frank Auerbach, one of many artists interviewed for the book, said his contemporaries belonged to "a British line of artistic mavericks, people who did exactly what they wanted to do.' " This well-researched history shows the enduring results of such single-minded nonconformity. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.