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Distributed for Hirmer Publishers

Bare Life

From Bacon to Hockney - London Artists Painting from Life, 1950-80

In the mid-twentieth century, a pioneering group of painters began pursuing new directions in figurative art, investing representations of the human body with unprecedented expressiveness and depth. Among these painters who sought to more accurately capture the truth of human existence were the “School of London” artists, including Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach, David Hockney, Leon Kossoff, and Lucian Freud, but the tradition also extended beyond this core group of painters to include a larger circle of artists across postwar Britain.
With a focus on studies of the human body, Bar Life illuminates the themes that characterize the movement, placing more than one hundred representative artworks in context with drawings, documents, and photographs that demonstrate important influences. Throughout, the book explores constantly changing processes, as well as the connections—both personal and professional—among many of the artists, as well as with other well-known artists and protagonists of the period, from Marcel Duchamp and Alberto Giacometti to Chaim Soutine and Willem de Kooning.

Presenting more than one hundred works from this powerfully expressive period, Bare Life explores an important chapter of postwar art that has until now been relatively neglected.

260 pages | 295 color plates | 9 1/2 x 12 | © 2014

Art: British Art

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Table of Contents

Explaining Pictures to a Living Heir
Andrew Brighton
“The Human Image in our Time”.
The reception of British figurative art in Germany
Tanja Pirsig-Marshall
“This Raw Thing”. Picturing London, 1945-80
Lee Hallman
The Resonating Space between Paintings and Viewers.
Phenomenon of perception in the portraits of Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach
Invar-Torre Hollaus
Setting the Scene. Returning Art to Life (cat. 1-20)
Pinning Down Reality. Materiality and Representations (cat. 21-41)
Why not Paint one’s own Life?
David Hockney and R.B. Kitaj at the Royal College of Art, c. 1960
Eckhart J. Gillen
“The Impersonal Eye of the Camera”
Lynda Morris
Addressing Popular Culture and Inventing Personal Styles (cat. 42-54)
Studio Thinking (cat. 55-81)
“This is the Family from which we Spring”.
The National Gallery collection and post-war British painting
Collin Wiggins
Painting from Life. “A long affair with objects, images, appearances, sensations…the passions”
Catherine Lampert
Finding a Likeness that is Truthful (cat. 82-102)
Elegies and Enlightenment (cat. 103-117)
Artist Biographies
List of Works
Selected Bibliography
List of publications with abbreviated titles
The Authors
Photo Credits

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