Private View: The Lively World of British Art by Bryan Robertson, John – CULTURAL HERITAGE BOOKS


Private View: The Lively World of British Art by Bryan Robertson, John Russell, and Earl of Antony Armstrong-Jones Snowdon


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London : Nelson, 1965. Hardcover. 289 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 35 cm. Very good copy; no underlines or markings within the pages. Satisfaction guaranteed!


Private View is a new kind of book about a new situation. It is the first book ever to tell how London became, with Paris and New York, one of the world's three capitals of art, how the creative dynamism of British art came to dominate the international scene. Individual British painters and sculptors, such as Henry Moore and Francis Bacon, have for years been internationally established figures whose forms and techniques have influenced generations of artists throughout the world, but today Britain is remarkable not for that senior generation of artists alone. No country in the world has a livelier generation of painters and sculptors under thirty-five, or one that has been quicker to establish a commanding international reputation.

Faced with this renaissance, people ask 'Who did it and how ?' Private View tells them. It takes readers inside a community that often presents a baffling, closed and yet fragmented exterior. First and foremost it shows the painters and sculptors in their studios and their homes. It shows how they work, how they live, and the kind of work they are producing. Eighty-one painters and sculptors, ranging from Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Francis Bacon and Graham Sutherland through the new generation typified by R. B. Kitaj, David Hockney and Bridget Riley and, beyond, to the next generation fresh from art school, are studied in close-up. The inner politics and machinery of the art world, the schools and teachers, the galleries and dealers, the critics and the trendsetters are also shown as part of the lively, complex organism that is British art today.

To this situation Private View is a uniquely well-informed guide. It is also, with 101 illustrations in full colour and 267 in black and white, a dramatically beautiful exploration of the London art scene. It is the result of several years' collaboration between three people of exceptional knowledge and insight: Lord Snowdon, artistic adviser to The Sunday Times and one of the world's great photographers; Bryan Robertson, Director of the
Whitechapel Art Gallery and organizer there of some of the most memorable exhibitions to be shown in London in the past decade, and the art historian and critic, John Russell of The Sunday Times.

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