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New book offers a fresh interpretation of Paul Nash's career through the lens of his design and illustration work
Paul Nash, Landscape of the Megaliths, 1937. Contemporary Lithograph, 73 x 50 cm (28 ¾ x 19 ¾ in), private collection. Photo: Robert McNair, Sunoptic Photo.



LONDON.- Exploring the ways in which painting, applied design and illustration intertwined over the course of the accomplished career of Paul Nash (1889-1946), this book provides a new perspective on one of the most gifted and celebrated English artists of the twentieth century.

Skilfully navigating the diversity of Nash’s design output, which drew in illustration, book jackets, posters, set design, pattern papers, fabrics, glass, ceramics and photography, in the context of Nash’s painting and wider pre-occupations, James King presents an artist who strove to resolve his artistic vision. With Nash's work informed by seismic shifts within the visual arts during his lifetime – from the influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement on the one hand, to Surrealism and Abstraction on the other – this fascinating book reveals the considerable gifts that allowed Nash to create a wholly original vision in turn.

‘Paul Nash has never been out of view as a painter, but his work in design and illustration has never received its due. Now James King has brought together textiles, ceramics, book illustration and advertising, making a rich contribution to charting the interwar decades in Britain and their belief that design would make the world a better place.’ – Alan Powers, author of Eric Ravilious, Artist and Designer

‘James King uncovers the paths crossed by Paul Nash and his contemporaries Enid Marx, Eric Ravilious and Ben Nicholson and describes Nash’s own particular brand of modernism as a designer of book illustrations and jackets, ceramics and glass, textiles and pattern papers, theatrical sets, not forgetting the renowned chrome and glass bathroom for the dancer Tilly Losch.…Teacher of artist-designers Enid Marx, Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious, his ‘outbreak of talent’; creator of daring abstract designs and intriguing surreal paintings. Nash was rare in the interwar years in seeing no distinction between the fine and applied arts.’ – Brian Webb, graphic designer and director of Webb & Webb Design Limited

James King is a Professor of English at McMaster University, Canada. A prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction, previous books include Interior Landscapes: A Life of Paul Nash, The Last Modern: A Life of Herbert Read and Roland Penrose: The Life of a Surrealist.










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