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Sunday, 14 September 2014

Paul Nash: Truth and Memory

Andrew Graham Dixon gave a compelling portrait of Paul Nash in the first programme of the BBC series British Art at War. Graham Dixon argued that:

‘Nash was scarred by the war and the ghosts of those experiences haunted his work throughout his life. A lover of nature, Nash became one of Britain's most original landscape artists, embracing modern Surrealism and ancient British history, though always tainted by his experiences during two world wars. A private yet charismatic man, he brought British landscape painting into the 20th century with his mixture of the personal and visionary, the beautiful and the shocking. An artist who saw the landscape as not just a world to paint, but a way into his heart and mind.’

Nash’s work currently features in Truth and Memory at the Imperial War Museum; ‘the largest exhibition and first major retrospective of  British First World War art for almost 100 years.’ Using artworks drawn mainly from IWM’s national collection and including work by some of Britain’s most important artists of the twentieth century, this exhibition assesses ‘the immediate impact and enduring legacy of British art of the First World War.’

Truth explores ‘how artists encountering the front lines experimented with new forms of art to capture the totally unfamiliar experience of the First World War.’ Through the work of CRW Nevinson, Paul Nash and William Orpen, amongst others, the exhibition considers ‘British artists’ quest for an authentic or ‘truthful’ representation of modern war.’ 


Ivor Gurney - Severn Meadows.

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