The first major study of Keith Vaughan oil paintings
Keith Vaughan is an artist from an historically important, enduringly popular period in post-war British art. Although he made his first paintings – small works of art on paper and card – in the Thirties, he came to prominence in the Neo-Romantic movement of the 1940s, exhibiting in London and New York during that decade and going on to achieve international recognition in a career that spanned four decades. His work is held in important public and private collections throughout the world and yet is not as widely known and appreciated as it deserves.
Published in 2012, Vaughan’s centenary year, the book has helped to generate renewed interest in this key British artist. The result of many years of research, it is the first comprehensive illustrated record of all the known oil paintings produce from 1946 to 1977. The catalogue has been compiled from the artist’s records by art dealer and Vaughan expert Anthony Hepworth.
In an accompanying critical essay, Ian Massey considers the stylistic and technical development of Vaughan’s work over three decades from the post-war period when he first concentrated fully on painting. Drawing on the artist’s own writings including previously unpublished correspondence, Massey’s text documents the autobiographical factors which influenced the artist’s iconography, much of which centres on the male figure and landscape. Vaughan’s main influences – Brangwyn, Cézanne, Matisse and De Staël are considered, as are the ways in which theatre, ballet, film and photography informed his work. The work is also set within a wider artistic and social context, and considers Vaughan’s position within figurative and abstract artistic developments of the period, both in London and internationally.
“contains a superb essay by Massey, which is the best introduction to Vaughan’s work available. This is an excellent text: crisply written, perceptive, at once wide-ranging and particular… Massey is good on formal analysis of the paintings but does not neglect the biographical context of the artist’s homosexuality or his awareness of contemporary artistic events… The catalogue lists more than 600 oils, but does not claim to be a definitive account of all Vaughan’s paintings. It is, however, the best record of his work we are likely to get for some time.”
Andrew Lambirth The Art Newspaper – full review here: http://anthonyhepworth.com/PDF/The_Art_Newspaper.pdf
“a near comprehensive illustrated catalogue of his output of over 600 oil paintings researched from personal papers, exhibition catalogues and auction records, with a finely nuanced biographical synopsis by Ian Massey which cites every artist, movement or influential figure with whom Vaughan had contact.”
Ruth Guilding The Times Literary Supplement
“Ian Massey’s essay gives an excellent analysis of Vaughan’s work, picking out individual works for illuminating, detailed study, with the emphasis on his technical and stylistic progress towards a successful integration of figurative and abstract.”
Jane Rye The Spectator
Keith Vaughan: The Mature Oils 1946-77 (Sansom and Company, 2012) was
long-listed for The William M.B. Berger Prize for British Art History, 2013