Finding inspiration in his quiet village on the river Thames, Spencer drew on his familiar world to arrive at an art of epic grandeur. Though he denied it, Spencer was a supreme landscape artist, MacCarthy contends. Like William Blake, Spencer found the miraculous in everyday things. Like his twentieth-century contemporaries -- including sculptors Eric Gill and Jacob Epstein and writers D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce -- Spencer was searching for a new expressiveness of sex, says MacCarthy. Contrary to the public perception of him, he was also a deeply political artist, affected by life around him and by his own involvement in world events. The magnificent wall paintings he created at the Sandham Memorial Chapel at Burghclere, for example, reflect his experiences as a hospital orderly and as a private in World War I.
Stanley Spencer's extreme combination of the homely and the weird has baffled viewers of his paintings. This book, delving more deeply than ever before into Spencer's personality, sheds new light on this sensitive and enigmatic artist.
This book is thecatalogue for an exhibit opening at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington on October 8, 1997, and later traveling to Chicago and San Francisco.