Informal Beauty: The Photographs of Paul Nash by Simon Grant
Paul Nash is widely regarded as one of the most significant British artists of the 20th century. Best known for his evocative paintings of war-ravaged landscapes and his quasi-Surrealist visions of the English countryside, Nash was also a consummate photographer, who believed that the camera could reveal aspects of the world that the painter could not. From 1930, when he was forty-one, through to his death in 1946, he regularly experimented with photography, working with an American-made No. 1A pocket Kodak series 2 camera that had been given to him by his wife. Now, for the first time in a generation, the world of Nash's photographs is revealed in this intimate new book. While they have long been known as a compositional tool for Nash's paintings, this book reveals his black-and-white photographs as powerful and atmospheric works in their own right. From Nash's images of tree trunks and ploughed fields to lighthouses and haystacks, crumbling stone walls and statuary, rocks and pebbles - as well as his circle of friends and fellow-artists including Eileen Agar and Edward Burra - it shows the complete range of his fascinating photographic work. The recent digitisation of Nash's extensive collection of photographs from the Tate Archive shows an artist whose subject matter, style and content was immensely varied and inventive. Including both little-known and previously unpublished photographs, and a highly informative contextual essay by author Simon Grant, Informal Beauty explores the experimental nature of Nash's output and the intensity and power of his photographic vision.