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John Minton: Dance Till the Stars Come Down Hardcover – 28 May 2005
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'... deeply attractive biography. A sensitive book to my mind and as interesting to the student of art as it is to the lay reader and the art historian and a book not to be missed.' Richard Edmunds, Birmingham Post 15/04/06
John Minton (1917-57) was an artist, a Bohemian and, in his own lifetime, a myth. During the 1940s and early 1950s he become a central figure within Soho, an intimate friend of, among many others, Michael Ayrton, Robert Colquhoun, Lucian Freud and the poet W.S. Graham. He enjoyed early success as a painter and was associated in the 1940s with the English Neo-Romantics. By the early 1950s he had become the most admired and influential illustrator of his day. Frances Spalding's sensitive account of Minton's life and work makes use of letters, articles and revue sketches by Minton himself, as well as many interviews with the artist's friends and acquaintances. She brings out the many conflicts within him, and shows how these were reflected in his art through its combination of romantic imagery and taut severities of style. His deep melancholy was for the most part kept hidden behind a euphoric generosity and a wild restlessness. But gradually, like his alcoholism, it became all-pervasive, and tragic and embittered he took his own life, aged thirty-nine.This new edition incorporates a new preface by the author and a new appendix featuring lists of public collections, exhibitions, illustrated books and book jackets, and a select bibliography. It will be widely welcomed by art historians, curators, dealers and all those interested in this fascinating period in British art and culture. See all Product description
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Minton was said to be an inspiring teacher whilst at Camberwell School of Art and later at the Royal College of Art, and his book illustration and wrapper designs were much sought after, he was never short of work. However, he worked in what became known as the English Romantic style and his oil paintings never quite achieved the critical recognition he yearned for. Worse still, this style of painting was pushed aside by the work of artists such as Bacon and Freud and the modern American schools. Minton was a tragic and lonely clown who was always the life and soul of the party. The Romantic style now seems to be undergoing a resurgence in popularity some 50 years after Minton's death.
A very well researched and beautifully produced book, probably the definitive work for some time and of interest to fans of Minton's work and those interested in the bohemian life of 40s and 50s London.
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