John Wonnacott

Smith, Charles Saumarez


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Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd
5 September 2022
ISBN: 9781848225916
136 pages

From the publisher

In this first major study of the work of the painter John Wonnacott (b.1940), Charles Saumarez Smith has surveyed a body of work produced at a tangent to the orthodoxies of modernism. Exploring the artist's formative experiences at the Slade, which connected him with artists such as Frank Auerbach and Michael Andrews and the School of London more broadly, Saumarez Smith roots Wonnacott's approach in his commitment to the discipline of drawing, his acute skills in observational analysis and the mechanics of graphic invention that makes his visual response to the world so memorable. Alongside commissioned portraits created in the grandest of architectural spaces, from naval bases to the Painted Hall at Greenwich and including John Major in 10 Downing Street and the Royal Family in Buckingham Palace, he has produced a revealing diary of self-portraits stretching back from his early teens and landscape paintings of light and sky which are celebrations of his native Essex coastline. In presenting the full range of Wonnacott's impressive oeuvre, the scope of the artist's remarkable achievement is revealed.