Here’s another painting by Paul Nash for Painting of the Week. I surprise myself finding that my first painting of the week was in September 2009. Must resolve to make such posts properly weekly.
The Rye Marshes by Paul Nash, 1932 could have be seen at the Paul Nash exhibition at Tate Britain, which ended on 5th March. In Painting of the Week No.16 I selected a work from Nash’s time as as war artist, and described my regard oh his work. [Click on image, below, to expand]
Recovering from the effects of WW1 on his health, Nash lived in Dymchurch on the Romney Marshes, and then moved to live near Rye. This was during his Surrealist period, where the quiet of the countryside helped banish memories of the war. The Rye Marshes painting was commissioned by the publicity director for Shell, and was subsequently used by Shell in their advertising, part of the ‘Everywhere You Go You Can Be Sure of Shell’ series advertising Shell Motor Spirit. This was the time when Shell Guides were produced to promote tourism in the UK.
Here are a few links where you can learn more about Paul Nash and his work.
Gosh, my last painting of the week was in October last year, and here’s me who likes art in all its forms. I said that I’d attended the Paul Nash and David Hockney exhibitions at Tate Britain. So you, no doubt, expect a painting of the week from the exhibitions.
I find Paul Nash’s work to contain an indefinable sense of Englishness. For me he follows the tradition of English landscape painting, though from a modernist and surrealist perspective; influenced as he was by the work of such as Rene Magritte, and Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore, and Barbara Hepworth.
It is Nash’s work as a war artist in World War I, and to a lesser degree in World War II when his health had given out, that is exceptional, displaying anger at the desolation, and despoliation of the battlefields. My selected work from Nash’s oeuvre is his monumental painting [6ft x 10ft] – The Menin Road, painted between 1918 and 1919. Here’s the painting, and beneath which are a number of sources on Nash and his work. [click on image to expand]
Tate Britain is currently hosting exhibitions by Paul Nash [1889 -1946], and David Hockney. Being an art lover, I couldn’t resist visiting the opportunity to see both exhibitions. Storm Doris wasn’t going to put me off, I visited yesterday afternoon.
I’ve got enough favourite images from both exhibitions for Painting of the Week blog posts for weeks to come. I ought to say right away that I prefer Paul Nash art to that of David Hockney, and I’ll explain why later.
Artists in the Great War [1914-18] produced striking images derived for the horrors they witnessed, and in which they strived to express their views.
These artists, in addition to their paintings, produced works on paper – prints in other word – editioned in sufficient numbers to make them affordable. Affordable is a relative term here, no matter the number of print sales I’ve attended [mostly at Bonhams] I’ve never managed to secure a print from artists working in WW1.
Chris Ingram, Woking born media entrepreneur, is a collector of such works and much of his collection is on public view at The Lightbox, Woking. The Ingram Collection held at The Lightbox is currently showing an exhibition – Impacts of War, made up entirely of pieces from the collection. The exhibition runs till 4th January 2015, with free admission.
Here are two stunning images from the period, not in the Ingram Collection, but both from the IWM [Imperial War Museum] collection – French Troops Resting by C R W Nevinson, 1919, and The Menin Road by Paul Nash, 1919.