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This lavishly illustrated book accompanies Piano Nobile's latest exhibition, Another Life, Another World, curated by David Boyd Haycock, focuses exclusively on watercolours by Paul Nash; a key part of the artistic output of one of the select handful of modernist British watercolour painters. Fully illustrated in colour, the majority of the works are drawn from private and public collections, giving the rare opportunity to see many seldom exhibited works alongside each other. Several of these exceptionally high-quality watercolours have not been seen together since they were painted, thus Another Life, Another World offers a unique perspective of Nash's first-hand experience of war and inter-war years.
Paul Nash began his career as a painter of subtle watercolours, an understated modernist who nevertheless retained links with the English Romantic tradition, however, he went on to become one of the most significant and iconic painters in watercolour of the twentieth century.
Sent to the Western Front in early 1917, Nash was invalided after falling into a trench - an accident that quite probably saved his life. When he returned to the battlefields later that year it was as an Official War Artist. Nash could easily have been killed in action, like so many of his fallen comrades, however, fortunately he went on to produce some of the greatest watercolours and oil paintings of the war that was to have ended wars. Painting from amidst the horror and chaos of the trenches, Nash managed to capture a chilling sense of stillness and contemplation, illustrating the surreal beauty that he found even in the depths of destruction.
Whilst there were many great oil painters of the period, Nash, along with Edward Burra, stands alone in the field of watercolours. He uses the medium to its best, masterfully creating works of great presence and beauty in such a delicate medium, pioneering a new way of using watercolour. Indeed, in 1923 he joined Robert Bevan, Charles Ginner, John Nash, Lucien Pissarro, Randolph Schwabe, Edward Wadsworth and a number of other artists in the foundation of the Modern English Watercolour Society.
This exhibition is curated by expert David Boyd Haycock - the author of Paul Nash (Tate Publishing, 2002) and A Crisis of Brilliance: Five Young British Artists and the Great War (Old Street Publishing, 2009). Formerly a curator at the National Maritime Museum, Boyd Haycock curated the critically acclaimed exhibition Nash, Nevinson, Spencer, Gertler, Carrington, Bomberg: A Crisis of Brilliance, 1908-1922 at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in summer 2013.
To accompany the exhibition Boyd Haycock has written a fully illustrated 100-page book, including the results of new research on Nash, hitherto unpublished, from information he has discovered in the Tate Archives. This highly visual and comprehensive survey is to be a seminal work on Nash’s watercolours.