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Constructed Abstract Art in England

A Neglected Avant-Garde

Alastair Grieve

View Inside Price: $50.00


June 10, 2005
288 pages, 9 3/4 x 11 1/4
150 b/w + 150 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300107036
Cloth

Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

Much admired as a realist painter, English artist Victor Pasmore surprised the art world in 1948 by suddenly directing his efforts toward the making of constructed abstract art. Pasmore was followed by Kenneth and Mary Martin, Adrian Heath, and the sculptor Robert Adams, and the group was later joined by John Ernest and Gillian Wise. This book follows the development of this major avant garde group and explores why they have received so little attention until now.

Alastair Grieve draws on personal discussions with these artists over many years and on extensive archival materials, including ephemeral catalogues which are difficult to find today. He offers much new information about the group and their theories, the Continental roots of their constructed abstract art, and their links with such contemporaries as American relief artist Charles Biederman and English constructivist Stephen Gilbert. The book features over 300 illustrations, many in color, and a full chronology and bibliography.

Alastair Grieve is reader in the history of art, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England.

"... this book re-establishes its subject and informs us about it as nothing has done previously. Beautifully written and produced..."---Burlington Magazine

“The author’s combined use of archival materials, personal interviews, and contemporary criticism creates a rich insight into the creative processes investigated by this group of constructivist artists and their influence upon one another. . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice

"[Grieve's] personal dialogue over time with many of the artists concerned and his measured assessment of their work will ensure that this handsomely produced book...will be the authoritative voice on the subject for some time to come." - Robert Radford, The Art Book, February 2006

"...an important book, and an indispensable resource for anyone interested in its subject or the period...a long overdue document." - Sam Gathercole, Art History

"Grieve has brought this specialized part of British art to everyone's attention in a very detailed and meticulous study and has made it accessible. His work . . . means that it is now unlikely that these constructed abstract artists will be forgotten."—The Structurist
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