ISBN: 9781848221468 • Publication: February 4, 2014
'A richly stimulating guide to a complex artist...Any book that can add to our understanding of genius - as this one does - is to be prized' The Art Newspaper
Art as a Mirror of Himself
DescriptionStanley Spencer (1891-1959) explored fundamental issues of life with an urgency and persistence unique among British artists of his generation. His art comments on religion, love, sexuality, fraternity and community. Charting the trajectory of Spencer's painting career in depth, this original publication provides a comprehensive analysis of the artist's oeuvre.
Central to understanding Spencer's work is the man himself - deeply subjective, his paintings reflect the ideas and beliefs that motivated him. While he had less emotional attachment with his landscapes, he viewed each figure painting as constituent of a body of work which, viewed as a whole, was representative of his personal and professional evolution. Examining critically the artist's key works from all periods, Andrew Causey places Spencer's art within the wider context of the spiritual, social and even, exceptionally, political values that underpin his work and make him such an outstanding painter.
While strong emphasis is placed on Spencer's 'visionary' paintings of the 1910s and1920s and the important crowd scenes and portraiture of the 1930s, Stanley Spencer gives due attention to the works produced later in the artist's career. The result is a well-rounded, original analysis of one of Britain's greatest painters that will enhance the libraries of general and specialist readers alike.