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Jane Rye rss

Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet Marianne Moore Photo: Getty

The mad, mum-fixated maiden aunt of modernism

7 December 2013
Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore Linda Leavell

Faber, pp.455, £30, ISBN: 9780571301829

Marianne Moore’s poems are notoriously ‘difficult’ but her personality and the circumstances of her life are as fascinating today as they were to the avant-garde writers and artists of 1920s… Read more

Mysterious and powerful: ‘Event on the Downs’ (1934)

Paul Nash, by Andrew Causey - review

22 June 2013
Paul Nash: Landscape and the Life of Objects Andrew Causey

Lund Humphries, pp.168, £35, ISBN: 9781848220966

Andrew Causey opens his book on a slightly defensive note: Paul Nash, he says is often identified as Britain’s outstanding 20th-century landscape painter, as if painting the natural scene was… Read more

The Undelivered Mardle: A Memoir of Belief, Doubt and Delight, by John Rogers — review

30 March 2013
The Undelivered Mardle: A Memoir of Belief, Doubt and Delight John Rogers

Darton, Longman & Todd, pp.160, £12.99, ISBN: 9780232529562

This ‘wry soliloquy’, as Ronald Blythe calls The Undelivered Mardle in his introduction, is quite unlike anything else, although its ostensible subject, the history of a small Suffolk farmyard church… Read more

Keith Vaughan - ‘Fishermen in Finisterre’, 1951

Tormented talent

8 December 2012
Keith Vaughan Philip Vann and Gerard Hastings

Lund Humphries, in association with Osborne Samuel, pp.184, £40, ISBN: 9781848220973

Keith Vaughan: The Mature Oils Anthony Hepworth and Ian Massey

Sansom and Company, pp.208, £40, ISBN: 781908326171

Drawing to a Close: The Final Journals of Keith Vaughan Gerard Hastings

Pagham Press, pp.200, £29.95, ISBN: 970957179608

We know a great deal about Keith Vaughan both as a painter and as a man, from the journals he kept between 1939 until his death in 1977. They have… Read more

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Lust for life

3 December 2011
Hockney: The Biography, Volume I, A Rake’s Progess Christopher Simon Sykes

Century, pp.363, 25

Seduced by the hayseed hair and the Yorkshire accent it’s tempting to see the young David Hockney as the Freddie Flintoff of the painting world: lovable, simple, brilliant, undoubtedly a… Read more

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Strategies for survival

23 July 2011
The Barbed-Wire University: The Real Lives of Allied Prisoners of War in the Second World War Midge Gillies

Aurum, pp.486, 20

This is an account of the multiplicity of ways in which men ‘stole back time from their captors through creativity’ in the prisoner-of-war camps of Europe and the Far East.… Read more

Champagne on dirty floorboards

30 January 2008
Lucian Freud William Feaver

Rizzoli, pp.487, 65

Jane Rye on William Feaver’s biography of Lucien Freud Lucian Freud describes his paintings as largely autobiographical, which seems to imply some sort of readiness to expose his private life to… Read more

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How others see us

31 October 2007

Exhibitions 2: British Vision: Observation and Imagination in British Art 1750–1950 This stunning, and constantly surprising, exhibition is the brainchild, or love child even, of the Flemish art historian Robert… Read more

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The measure of the man

5 September 2007
Euan Uglow: The Complete Paintings Catalogue raisonné by Catherine Lampert; Essays by Richard Kendall and Catherine Lampert

Yale, pp.pp. 244, £65

Euan Uglow: The Complete Paintings Catalogue raisonné by Catherine Lampert; Essays by Richard Kendall and Catherine Lampert Whether we know it or not ‘we crave the inexpressive in art’, Bernard… Read more

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The Painters’ Painter

18 July 2007
Roger Hilton: The Figured Language of Thought Andrew Lambirth

Thames & Hudson, pp.pp. 288, £35.00

‘Give me the cheque, you look like a decaying oyster’ — thus Roger Hilton accepting the John Moores First Prize in 1963, at the height of his career. At the… Read more

Nevertheless, the real thing

19 October 2006
Tracey Emin: Works, 1963-2006 Carl Freedman

Rizzoli, pp.413, 40

It’s difficult not to warm to Mad Tracey from Margate (‘I like Tracey … I landed on my feet with that name’), the inventor of the Rothko Comfort Blanket for… Read more

The brilliant and the damned

21 January 2006
E. McKnight Kauffer: A Designer and his Public Mark Haworth-Booth

V&A Publications, pp.128, 24.99

It would be a mistake to assume that this account of the work of one of the 20th century’s most celebrated designers (a familiar name to many for his London… Read more

Going to the country

8 October 2005
Doreen Barbara Noble

Persephone Books, pp.238, 12.99

One and a half million children were evacuated from London and housed in the country in two days. The evacuee child with its gas mask round its neck and the… Read more

Pleasure without angst

18 December 2004
Hockney’s Pictures David Hockney

Thames & Hudson, pp.368, 19.95

David Hockney is a conjuror who likes to explain his tricks, or, as one commentator put it, conducts ‘his education in public with a charming and endearing innocence’. This chunky… Read more

A fastidious disdain of poetry

14 August 2004
William Coldstream Bruce Laughton

Yale, pp.355, 30

If William Coldstream (1909-87) was a dull painter, as he is sometimes thought to be, he was most certainly not a dull man. An artist who spent much of his… Read more

From education to catastrophe

6 March 2004
A Rope of Sand Elsie Burch Donald

Doubleday, pp.270, 12.99

‘I do feel the strongest urge to talk,’ confides the narrator when a chance meeting with the beautiful Olivia after more than 30 years brings back disturbing memories of what… Read more

A man who asked the right questions

3 January 2004
London Recordings David Sylvester

Chatto, pp.202, 22

David Sylvester’s first ambition was to be a professional cricketer, and he possessed to the end that almost miraculous masculine capacity for total recall of notable prep-school innings ball by… Read more