John Armstrong: The Paintings

ISBN: 9780856676680
Artist(s): John Armstrong
Author(s): Andrew Lambirth
Format: hardback
Edition: -
Year published: 2009
Publisher: Philip Wilson
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 240 pages
Illustrations: Fully illustrated in b/w and colour

Author(s) Biographies:


3 available

The career of John Armstrong (1893-1973) is overdue for reassessment. A superb classical painter and draughtsman, Armstrong also undertook much work in film, theatre, and ballet, as well as being a successful designer of ceramics and murals. His work has often been associated with that of the Surrealists, especially after he became a member of Unit One, a group formed by his contemporary Paul Nash in 1933 to promote modern art, architecture, and design, though it resists any easy categorisation, alternating as it does between pure abstraction and complex figuration. During the Second World War Armstrong was an official War Artist and some of his best work was done during this period. He was a committed supporter of the Labour movement, contributing designs to party election leaflets in 1945, as well as being an active political campaigner, and elements of these preoccupations can be detected in the satirical tone he adopts in a number of his more ambitious compositions. The first major study of Armstrong’s work, the book draws on new and unpublished research that puts into context the highly original vision of a strongly independent and imaginative artist waiting to be rediscovered. A complete illustrated catalogue of his paintings is included.



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