Modernists & Mavericks

Modernists & Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters

Art & Design , Art History , Entertainment , Non-Fiction
Paperback Published on: 25/07/2019
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Bookseller Reviews

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Modernists & Mavericks
A fascinating book drawing together first-hand interviews, anecdotes, essays, and analysis of the development painting in London from the Second World War ... READ MORE
Jack Wightman
Modernists & Mavericks
There is never a dull moment in Martin Gayford's 20th Century London. You feel as though you're rubbing elbows with Gillian Ayres and drowning your sorrow... READ MORE
Matilda Wheatley


Martin Gayford's masterful account of painting in London from the Second World War to the 1970s, illustrated by documentary photographs and the works themselves.

The development of painting in London from the Second World War to the 1970s is the story of interlinking friendships, shared experiences and artistic concerns among a number of acclaimed artists, including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Gillian Ayres, Frank Bowling and Howard Hodgkin.

Drawing on extensive first-hand interviews, many previously unpublished, with important witnesses and participants, the art critic Martin Gayford teases out the thread connecting these individual lives, and demonstrates how painting thrived in London against the backdrop of Soho bohemia in the 1940s and 1950s and ‘Swinging London’ in the 1960s.

He shows how, influenced by such different teachers as David Bomberg and William Coldstream, and aware of the work of contemporaries such as Jackson Pollock as well as the traditions of Western art from Piero della Francesca to Picasso and Matisse, the postwar painters were allied in their confidence that this ancient medium, in opposition to photography and other media, could do fresh and marvellous things. They asked the question ‘what can painting do?’ and explored in their diverse ways, but with equal passion, the possibilities of paint.

  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
  • ISBN: 9780500294703
  • Number of pages: 392
  • Weight: 400g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm

Customer Reviews

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Modernists & Mavericks
A Terrific Read
A fascinating gallop through British art history in the postwar period. Gayford is always an engaging writer. He strikes the perfect balance between tellin... READ MORE
Katy Wheatley