02 January 2017

"English Graphic"

English Graphic, by art critic and illustrator Tom Lubbock, is a collection of essays about "works on paper" - prints and drawings. I'm delighted with it, but rather than bore you with reasons why, will show some of the works that the short, lucid chapters discuss. If it's artspeak you're after, don't bother with this book!

Concrete poetry by Dom Sylvester Houedard, and the importance of the typewriter -
 One of my favourite artists when I first came to England, Samuel Palmer - the intensity of ink and immanence always grabs me -
Early Morning, 1825
Another favourite, Thomas Bewick - it was reading the piece about Bewick's vignettes that led me to buy the book -
 These images made me sad, for different reasons -
Stowage of the British Slave Ship 'Brookes' under the Regulated Slave Trade Act of 1788

Nicholas Hilliard, Portrait of an Unknown Man Clasping a Hand from a Cloud, 1588

These were astonishing, for different reasons -
The Damned are Swallowed by Hellmouth
from the Winchester Psalter, c.1121-41

Portrait of its immanence the absolute.
Instructions for Use. - Turn the eye of faith, fondly but firmly,
on the cente of the page, wink the other, and gaze fixedly until
you see It.
The rest is miscellany - 
"This bubble's man: hope, fear, false joy and trouble,
Are those four winds which daily toss this bubble."
Francis Quarles, frontispiece to Hieroglyphics of the Life of Man, c.1637

Henry Mayo Bateman, The New Word in Gold, c.1925

George Cruikshank, A Fantasy: The Fairy Ring, c.1850

John Russell, The Face of the Moon, 1793-7

Thomas Carwitham, Fantasy of Flight, c.1713-33
Tom Lubbock's journalism is gathered here; his first book, Great Works: 50 Paintings Explained was published in 2011.


dontwantanothername said...

Enjoyed these,

Charlton Stitcher said...

This looks fascinating... I will consider purchase (when I find I have time to focus on the contents)!

M said...

Great images. I'm an admirer of Palmer's ink drawings too. There was a wonderful exhibition of his work at the British Museum about a decade ago. Funnily enough the curator of the BM Palmer exhibition is also an artist, Will Vaughn. I bought one of Vaughn's etchings a few years after ("By the Park") and told him how much I'd enjoyed the Palmer exhibition!