True to Life: British Realist Painting in the 1920s and 1930s

ISBN: 9781911054054
Artist(s): Various
Author(s): Patrick Elliott & Sacha Llewellyn
Format: paperback
Year published: 2017
Publisher: National Galleries of Scotland
Publisher Location: Edinburgh
Total Pages: 144
Illustrations: 140 colour illustrations


1 available

British realist art of the 1920s and 1930s is visually stunning – strong, seductive and demonstrating extraordinary technical skill. Despite this, it is often overshadowed by abstract art. This book presents the very first overview of British realist painting of the period, showcasing outstanding works from private and public collections across the UK.

Of the forty artists featured in the show, many were major figures in the 1920s and 1930s but later passed out of fashion as abstraction and Pop Art became the dominant trends in the post-war years. In the last decade their work has re-emerged and interest in them has grown. Interwar realist art embraces a number of different styles, but is characterised by fine drawing, meticulous craftsmanship, a tendency towards classicism and an aversion to impressionism and visible brushwork.

Artists such as Glyn Philpot, Gerald Leslie Brockhurst, Meredith Frampton, James Cowie and Winifred Knights combine fastidious Old Master detail with 1920s modernity. Stanley Spencer spans various camps while Lucian Freud’s early work can be seen as a realist coda which continued into the 1940s and beyond.Featuring many Scottish and women artists, this book promises a fascinating insight into this captivating period of British art. Exhibition to be held at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh from 1 July to 29 October 2017.


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