Gwen John: Art and Life in London and Paris


Product Details

$39.95  $37.15
Thames & Hudson
Publish Date
6.71 X 9.74 X 1.21 inches | 2.19 pounds

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About the Author

Alicia Foster is an art historian, curator, and novelist. Her publications include Tate Women Artists, Tate British Artists: Gwen John, Nina Hamnett, and a novel entitled Warpaint. She has also curated exhibitions and written the catalog for Radical Women: Jessica Dismorr and Her Contemporaries.


[Gwen] John is presented throughout Foster's books as embedded in...webs of connections. Far from being a recluse cut off from the world, as she has often been described, she is shown as keenly alert to contemporary trends and ideas... Foster sets John firmly in the story of women's struggle to become professional artists in the early twentieth century and to forge their own place in an art world dominated by men... Foster's study, splendidly illustrated throughout, is a genuinely critical biography: a careful gathering at every stage of John's career of the impact on her life and work of different milieux and individuals, of her response to ideas and techniques, currents and influences, letting us see a great artist working out her own way to live, draw, and paint... Foster's sympathetic portrayal of the tension between her longing for solitude and her involvement with the movements of her time allows us to see her afresh, bringing out her hidden, powerful strength.-- "New York Review of Books"
[As] Alicia Foster makes plain...[Gwen John] was as eager for professional recognition as any of her male peers, and if she lived a life of self-imposed solitude, so too did van Gogh and Cézanne... Ms. Foster's account of her subject's life is meticulously researched, and she is especially good at discussing John's carefully honed techniques. Throughout, the author makes the case that John was far more in touch with the cultural currents of her day than has previously been imagined... The story of [John's] intrepid pursuit of a creative life against all odds, her intellect and bravery, and her fierce romantic attachments offers a compelling corrective to the mythology of the artist as a reclusive loner.--Ann Landi "The Wall Street Journal" (7/14/2023 12:00:00 AM)