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Martin Gayford – How Painting Happens

October 14 @ 12:00 13:00

In the words of the late Gillian Ayres, this is a book about “what can be done with painting.” Drawing on decades of conversations with practicing painters, acclaimed author Martin Gayford offers intimate insight into the practice, meaning, and potential of this timeless medium.

As a way of making images, pigment applied to any surface from cave wall to canvas, painting has been around for tens of thousands of years. Yet it has proved capable of endless renewal. Now in the third decade of the twenty-first century it is once more at the forefront of contemporary art. How Painting Happens will consider how and why this is so, examining this perennial medium through the eyes of its exponents past and present.

Martin Gayford will draw on interviews carried out over more than two decades with, among many others, Frank Auerbach, Gillian Ayres, Georg Baselitz, Frank Bowling, Richard Estes, Lucian Freud, Katharina Fritsch, Rebecca Horn, Shirazeh Houshiary, Lee Ufan, Paula Rego, Bridget Riley, Jenny Saville, Frank Stella, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Wayne Thiebaud, Luc Tuymans, and Zeng Fanzhi.

These diverse artists talk about how they work, the different routes by which they came to be painters, their contemporaries, and predecessors. With painters’ insight they discuss such previous exponents of the brush as Titian, El Greco, Edward Hopper, Suzanne Valadon, Petrus Christus, Van Gogh, Degas, Klee, and Delacroix.

Altogether, this book presents a fresh, multidimensional perspective on the medium—so ancient and yet simultaneously so modern, and still capable of doing things no other art form can.

Martin Gayford is a writer and art critic. His books include Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud; Modernists and Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters; A History of Pictures: From the Cave to the Computer Screen and Spring Cannot Be Cancelled: David Hockney in Normandy, both with David Hockney; Shaping the World: Sculpture from Prehistory to Now, with Antony Gormley; Love Lucian: The Letters of Lucian Freud, 1939-1954, with David Dawson; and Venice: City of Pictures.

Kindly sponsored by Duke’s Auctioneers

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