BOOK 'Eric Ravilious: Artist and Designer' by Alan Powers
'Eric Ravilious: Artist and Designer' by Alan Powers
Hardback, 270 x 249mm, 216 pages, 163 colour and 52 B&w illustrations
More popular than ever, the work of Eric Ravilious (1903-42) is rooted in the landscape of pre-war and early wartime England. This new book by Alan Powers, the established authority on Ravilious, provides the most comprehensive overview to date of the artist's work in all media - watercolour, illustration, printmaking, graphic design, textiles and ceramics - and firmly positions Ravilious as a major figure in the history of early 20th-century British art.
In an accessible and engaging text, copiously illustrated with reproductions of work drawn from a range of sources, Alan Powers discusses the part Ravilious' work played in creating an English style, positioned between tradition and modernism, and borrowing from naive and popular art of the past. The book analyses Ravilious' different spheres of activity in turn, covering his education and formative influences, his mural painting, his printmaking and illustration, his work as leader in forming a new style of watercolour painting between the wars and his final period as an official War Artist. In a career curtailed by an early death, Ravilious also played a significant role as a designer; Powers argues that Ravilious showed how decoration and historical reference could find a place in the reform of the applied arts whilst simultaneously renewing a sense of national identity.
Eric Ravilious will be welcomed by all those with an interest in an artist whose imagination was backed by great skill and a sharp eye for the unusual.
Contents: Preface; 1. 'Slightly somewhere else': The formation of an artist; 2. 'A clear mental image: Books and prints; 3. 'Distilled out of the ordinary experience': Paintings in watercolour; 4. 'Frankly and happily ornamental': Eric Ravilious and design; 5. The war through artists' eyes; Conclusion: English Eden with 'a biting edge'; Chronology; Public Collections; Bibliography; Acknowledgements and Image Credits; Index.
About the Author: Alan Powers was Professor of Architecture and Cultural History at the University of Greenwich until 2012. His research covers a wide range of topics, including architecture, painting, typography, illustration and textiles, and he has a particular interest in exploring new interpretations of the emergence of modernism in Britain in the 20th century. Guest curator of the centenary exhibition, Eric Ravilious: Imagined Realities, at the Imperial War Museum (2003), his other books include Britain in the series Modern Architectures in History (2007) and Curwen: Art and Print (2008).
Reviews: 'Despite his erudition, Dr Powers wears his learning lightly and writes elegantly and concisely [...]. This new study of Ravilious is a pleasure to read, besides being packed with unexpected insights and detailed analysis. Dr Powers goes straight to the heart of Ravilious' art [... and] is particularly good on technical information straightforwardly phrased. [...] There have been a number of Ravilious publications in recent years, but this is by far the most informative and well-crafted account of all aspects of this remarkable artist's achievement.' Andrew Lambirth, Country Life
Nominated for the William M. B. Berger Prize for British Art History 2013/14
"'Eric Ravilious: Artist and designer' is not intended as a biography as such, but rather a survey of Ravilious's work in chapters covering these various facets of his career, ordered roughly chronologically." Clare Griffiths, Art History, May 2014
"Powers's monograph tries to do something different and will be accessible to a wider market, while also being beautifully produced. [...] It is richly illustrated, including sumptuous details from some of the watercolours." Clare Griffiths, Art History, May 2014