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Alex Williams: The Survival of an Artist [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Liz Hodgkinson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 35.00
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Book Description

3 May 2012
Alex Williams has achieved that rare accolade of a painter whose commercial success has not interfered with his reputation as one of this country's most significant modern artists. Yet his personal story is a fascinating tale of struggle, heartbreak and amazing risks.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Quartet Books (3 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0704372630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0704372634
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 9.8 x 12.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,457,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Alex Williams was born in 1942 into a family and in a town where artists were treated with all the wariness with which you would treat exotic creatures escaped from the zoo. This book is the story of difficulties overcome both to become an artist and to make a successful living as an artist. Neither has been achieved without cost.
The places where Alex has lived, studied, worked and drawn inspiration are set in their social and geographical contexts: small town Huntingdonshire, London at the start of the 1960s, California, Wales, the Welsh borders and the west country. There are glimpses of the young David Hockney and Francis Bacon, as well as Alex's teacher Peter Blake. Alex also played a part in Richard Booth's transformation of Hay on Wye into a book town and independent kingdom.
Alex has kept a portfolio of his work all his life and the quality of the photographs in the book is superb. Not only do they show his progression as an artist, but they also illustrate the variety of work that he has done.
The text by Liz Hodgkinson is eminently readable: she has written a skilful and honest narrative of the life and also provided a technical explanation of the art which is accessible to the general reader.
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I knew Alex many years ago when he was a struggling student at St. Martins School in London. A moody, intense boy who was a wonderful mimic. He was my room mate for a short period and I still remember some of his early paintings. We both moved to Hampstead and I lost contact with him as he moved among his circle of artist friends. Liz hodgkinson's book is quite a masterpiece in itself. She has researched Alex's life and work with great integrity and the reproductions of the paintings are really excellent. I know that Alex had a tough time with his father's failure to accept the artist son and I was so delighted to see that Alex had overcome much of his early insecurity and become a confident speaker, teacher and painter of such diversity. This account of Alex's life and work is truly delightful to read and I heartily recommend it. Well done, my old friend, and by the way you still owe me half a crown!
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4.0 out of 5 stars a man of commitment 15 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've met him and he is a true artist who doesn't let anything get in his way. Hard to live with though I suspect!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Alex Williams is here to stay! 6 May 2014
By Brian E. Hurst - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An outstanding life story of a very talented English artist. Liz hodgkinson has written a most readable account of Alex Williams' struggles to become the master painter that he is now acknowledged to be. The book has many beautiful illustrations of his work of farmyard animals, deserted buildings, the Welsh border countryside and his designs for ceramics. I knew Alex when he was an impoverished student at St. Martins in London. I remember some of his early paintings and it was so good to see that he developed his own unique style and also kept his sense of humor. I came to the U.S. in 1980 to study and was totally unaware that Alex was also here in Los Angeles painting and meeting David Hockney and other celebrities. We were from the same small English town of Huntingdon where artists were thought to be very weird and Alex's father was no exception to this. Alex had to overcome the fierce opposition of his father to anything that was 'arty.' This book should be an inspiration to all of us to 'follow our dreams' and not be put off by criticism. I loved everything about this book. It is a first class production!
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