Archives for Second World War

Paul Nash Retrospective Opens At Tate Britain, London

A RETROSPECTIVE of the work of the work of Paul Nash, one of the greatest war artists and landscape painters of the 20th century, opens at Tate Britain in London. Nash played a significant role in the discourse between British art and International Modernism and was a key figure in the development of British surrealism. The exhibition, which takes its title from the artist’s name displays paintings, sculpture and collage, including his collaborative work with British surrealist, Eileen Agar, paintings from the International Surrealist Exhibition of 1936 and works by the avant-garde artists of Unit One, of which Nash was a member.

Nash was fascinated by the mystical power of the landscape, moonlight and trees, themes with which he maintained a strong affinity. The exhibition begins with his early illustrative work inspired by Pre-Raphaelite poetry and a fantastical seascape of sand dunes and pyramids. Nature assumes unearthly forms such as the tall elms at his family’s garden in Iver Heath which Nash described as “ … three heads fused in cascades of dense leaves spreading out like the crown of a vast fountain.”

Paul Nash, Tate Gallery, art, paintingEquivalents for the Megaliths 1935 by Paul Nash. Courtesy of the Tate Gallery

Drawn to ancient landmarks, Nash painted the chalky hills of Wittenham Clumps and the prehistoric stones at Avebury, the latter of which inspired his abstract depictions of megaliths.

In wartime, his trees ceased to be places of refuge and tranquillity, as in his early work. With their branches hacked off by artillery fire, his trees became disfigured stalks that scar the landscape. Letters home to his wife, Margaret reveal that in the aftermath of battle, Nash sought comfort in the regeneration of nature, “Nearly all the battered trees have come out and the birds sing all day in spite of shells and shrapnel.”

Paul Nash, Tate Gallery, art, paintingSpring in the Trenches, Ridge Wood, 1917-1918 by Paul Nash.
Imperial War Museum, London, Courtesy of the Tate Gallery

During the Second World War, Nash decided to convey war differently and nature became a metaphor for destruction. In his famous work, Totes Meer, an owl surveys the skeletal remains of aircraft wreckage under a watery moon. The artist remarked, “…it is not water or even ice, it is something static and dead. It is metal piled up, wreckage.”

Paul Nash, Tate Gallery, art, paintingTotes Meer (Dead Sea) 1940-1941 by Paul Nash. Presented by the War Artists Advisory
Committee 1946, Courtesy of the Tate Gallery.

by Miranda Charalambous

The exhibition, Paul Nash opens from October 26, 2016 to March 5, 2017 at Tate Britain, London SW1P 4RG
Tel: +44 (0)20 7887 8888

Email: visiting.britain@tate.org.uk

Front page image: The Rye Marshes 1932 by Paul Nash. Ferens Art Gallery, Courtesy of the Tate Gallery

Magnum Photos Releases New Square Print Project

A NEW Square Print Project launched by Magnum Photos celebrates the legacy of Polish documentary photographer and Magnum co-founder, David “Chim” Seymour. The project, entitled Conditions of the Heart: on empathy and connection in photography is inspired by Seymour’s exceptional ability to convey human emotion in his work. This project explores the relationship between photographer and subject and the significance of Seymour’s work on the practice of documentary photography. Featuring over seventy artists, the project is part of a series which examines the influence of the Magnum co-founders which also include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and George Rodger.

Seymour, who began his career as a photojournalist in the 1930s is well known for his images of the Spanish Civil War. During the Second World War, he joined the United States Army as a photographic interpreter and afterwards, worked for UNICEF photographing the plight of orphaned children. Affected by wartime experiences, Seymour’s work became more socially conscious and acquired a greater sensitivity. Magnum photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson said, “Chim picked up his camera the way a doctor takes his stethoscope out of his bag, applying his diagnosis to the condition of the heart.

When Magnum photographer, Eve Arnold was seconded to Cuba to take magazine photographs, she encountered destitution on an unimaginable scale which affected her greatly. In desperation, a Cuban family, depicted here, implored her to adopt their daughter to save her from a life of prostitution and poverty.

CUBA. Bahia Honda. Fisherman and family. Island girl. 1954.Fisherman and family. Bahía Honda, Cuba. 1954. Courtesy of Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos

Magnum photographer, Paul Fusco took this photograph while travelling from New York to Washington, D.C. from a train carrying the dead body of Robert F. Kennedy. Fusco explained, “The people in this photograph had a meaningful connection with Kennedy and an appreciable reason to build a sign, stand in the heat and say goodbye to the man who had once offered them hope.”

USA. 1968. Robert KENNEDY funeral train.USA.USA. 1968. Robert Kennedy funeral train. Courtesy of Paul Frusco/Magnum Photos

Magnum photographer, Ian Berry was pleasantly surprised when he worked with the actor and singer Jane Birkin OBE and her partner, Serge Gainsbourg. Regarding most celebrities somewhat challenging, he found the pair ”warm, friendly and generally terrific” and, easy to photograph.

France. Paris. Jane Birkin OBE is an English actress and singer based in France. She is known for her relationship with Serge Gainsbourg and for having a Hermes bag named after her. In recent years she has written her own album, directed a film and become an outspoken proponent of democracy in Burma. Here she sits with Serge Gainsbourg in their Paris flat. 1970 Jane Birkin with Serge Gainsbourg, her husband at the time, in their Paris flat. 1970.
Courtesy of Ian Berry/Magnum Photos

The Magnum photographs on sale are museum quality prints and measure 6 x 6 inches. Each photograph is sighed and estate stamped and cost $100.

by Miranda Charalambous

The Magnum Square Print Sale, Conditions of the Heart: on empathy and connection in photography runs until November 4, 2016 at the Magnum Print Online Shop.
Email: shop@magnumphotos.com

Front page image: Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Misfits. Reno, Nevada, 1960, Courtesy of Inge Morath/Magnum Photos