maandag 3 juni 2019

Views & Reviews Fertile Image Paul Nash Kodak Photography

NASH, Paul.
Fertile Image.
London: Faber and Faber, 1951. First Edition. Small quarto. 64 black and white plates. Mostly studies of the natural world by this artist best known for his painting. Edited by Margaret Nash with an introduction by James Laver. Posthumous publication. (Parr / Badger, v2, 139).

Paul Nash - Bidborough Street, London, UK
in Blue Plaques
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 31.720 W 000° 07.520
30U E 699394 N 5712534
Quick Description: This English Heritage blue plaque, to the artist Paul Nash, is attached to a building on the south east side of Bidborough Street in London.

English Heritage
Paul Nash
1889 - 1946
lived in flat 176
1914 - 1936

The Tate website tells us:
Landscape painter in oils and watercolour, book illustrator, writer and designer for applied art. Born 11 May 1889 at Kensington, elder brother of John Nash. Lived at Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, from 1901. Studied at the Chelsea Polytechnic 1906–7, at L.C.C. evening classes at Bolt Court, Fleet Street, 1908–10, and at the Slade School 1910–11. First one-man exhibition of drawings and watercolours at the Carfax Gallery 1912. Worked under Roger Fry at the Omega Workshops and on restoring the Mantegna Cartoons at Hampton Court 1914. Member of the Friday Club 1913, the London Group 1914, the N.E.A.C. 1919 and the Society of Wood Engravers 1922. Served with the Artists' Rifles 1914–17; appointed Official War Artist as a result of his exhibition Ypres Salient at the Goupil Gallery 1917. Lived at Dymchurch, Kent, 1921–5. First visit to Paris 1922. Taught at Oxford 1920–3 and the R.C.A. 1924–5 and 1938–40. Illustrated several books 1918–32, including Genesis 1924 and Urne Buriall 1932. Lived in or near Rye 1925–33. Represented at the Venice Biennale 1926, 1932 and 1938. Founded Unit One 1933. In Dorset 1934–5; returned to London 1936. Exhibited at the International Surrealist Exhibitions in London 1936 and Paris 1938. Settled in Oxford 1939. Official War Artist to the Air Ministry 1940 and to the Ministry of Information 1941–5. Retrospective exhibitions at Temple Newsam, Leeds, 1943, and Cheltenham 1945. Died 11 July 1946 at Boscombe, Hampshire. Memorial exhibitions at the Tate Gallery 1948 and in Canada 1949–50; an exhibition of his photographs was held by the Arts Council 1951 and a book of his photographs, Fertile Image, was published the same year. A fragment of autobiography together with some letters and essays was published posthumously as Outline in 1949, his correspondence with Gordon Bottomley as Poet and Painter in 1955. A further exhibition was held at the Redfern Gallery 1961.

Paul NASH (1889-1946)
‘A Private World’
25 photographs 1931-1946
Having been selected by John Piper (see his introduction at the bottom of this page) from Paul Nash’s original negatives these photographs, taken on Nash’s No.1A pocket Kodak series 2 camera between 1931 and 1946, were printed by David Lambert for Fischer Fine Art and published in an edition of 45 as ‘A Private World, Photographs by Paul Nash’, in 1978.  Each is pencil inscribed with the edition number, ‘42/45’, on the reverse and blind stamped by the Paul Nash Trustees and the Tate Gallery Archives Department, where the negatives are now lodged.

References: The bracketed numbers refer to the Tate Gallery negatives, the letters to geographical location. The asterisk shows that the image size as printed has been cropped to Nash’s mark-ups.

‘PW’: ‘A Private World, Photographs by Paul Nash’.

i. Monster Field: A discovery recorded by Paul Nash, Paul Nash, Counterpoint Publ., 1946.
ii. Fertile Image, Nash photographs edited by Margaret Nash, Faber & Faber, 1951.
iii. Paul Nash’s Camera, London Arts Council Touring Exhibition, 1951.
iv. Paul Nash’s Photographs: Document and Image, Andrew Causey, Tate Gallery Publ., 1973.
v. ‘The Life of the Inanimate object’, Country Life, 1st May 1937
vi. ‘Nature Imitates Art’, Raymond Mortimer, Architectural Review, January 1935.

1. The White Horse, Uffington, Berkshire. (137/N*). PWI. 142x302 mms.

2. The White Horse, Uffington, Berkshire. (134/N*). PWII. 175x302 mms. c.1937. Lit: iv. pl.70.

3. ‘Monster Field’, Carswall’s Farm, Newent, Gloucestershire. (1108/L*). PW III. 170x303 mms. 1938. Lit: iii, no.22. iv, pl.88. i. and ii. no. 32. Related to an oil painting and two watercolours exhibited 1939.

4. Object Trouve. (784/T*). PW IV. 202x302 mms. Lit: iv, pl 37.

5. Stone Post. (661/T*). PW V. 303x160 mms. Lit: ii, no.20.

6. Ploughed Field and Haystacks. (1226/T*). PW VI. 174x303 mms. 1937. Related to the watercolour 'Earth Sky' 1037.

7. ‘Laocoon’, Carswall’s Farm, Newent, Gloucestershire. (1118/L*). PW VII. 193x303 mms. 1941. Lit: iii, no.25. ii, no.3.

8. Cork Drying; France (1933) or Spain(1934). (714/H). PW VIII. 171x302 mms.

9. The Box Garden, Beckley Park, Oxfordshire. (639/N*). PW IX. 1940/41. Related to the watercolour 'The Box Garden', 1943.

10. Avebury Sentinel. (114/M*). PW X. 303x173 mms. 1933. Lit: iii, no. 15. v and ii no. 2.

11. Washing drying on the beach, Nice. (383/H). PW XI. 175x302 mms. 1933/34. Lit: iv, pl.

12. Boat on the Shore, South of France. (432/H*). PWXII. 201 x 302 mms. 1933/34. Lit: iv, pl.16.

13. 'Empty Market Stalls, Ceuta, Morocco’. (716/H). PW XIII. 176x302 mms. 1934.

14. The Bull Ring, Ronda, Spain. (257/H). PW XIV. 182x302 mms. 1934.

15. Bench Seats, Swanage. (408/A*). PW XV. 173x302 mms. 1935/36.

16. Boat, Atlantic. (448/J*). PW XVI. 193x302 mms. 1931.

17. Chain and Net, John Nash’s home, Meadle, Berkshire. (515/R*). PW XVII. 302x183 mms. Margaret Nash noted on the original negative 'Surrealist a very important experiment'.

18. ‘Totems’, old shipyard, Rye harbour. (1087/E*). PW XVIII. 303x203 mms. 1932.Lit: iii, no. 42.

19. Rock recessed in grass (Portland?). (1010/T*). PW XIX. 215x301 mms.

20. Step Edge; below Nash’s garden at New House, Rye, Sussex.(1054/E). PW XX. 177x302 mms. 1931/33.

21. Blue Pool, near Wareham, Dorset. (936/B*). PW XXI. 212x302 mm.

22. Seashore and Steps, Swanage, Dorset. (1052/A). PW XXII. 175x303 mm. 1935/36.

23. Maiden Castle, Dorset. (103/D*). PW XXIII. 110x302 mms. 1935/36. Related to: 'Hill Architecture' (1935 or 37). 'Maiden Castle' (1937). 'Maiden Castle' (1943).

24. Atlantic Voyage. (440/J*). PW XXIV. 303x182 mms. 1931. Lit: vi and ii, no. 63. One of the earliest images Nash took on the No.1A pocket Kodak series 2 bought for him by Margaret Nash on the 1931 America trip.

25. Dead Tree, Romney Marsh. (1092/E*). PW XXV. 302x182 mms. 1930-34.

Introduction to the Edition by John Piper, 1977

PAUL NASH took photographs for the last sixteen years of his life; that is to say, from 1930 when he was given an American Kodak. The camera was adequate to his purpose and he never became involved enough in the technique of photography to buy himself a more elaborate one or bother with wide-angle or other lenses or even to use a tripod. But his snapshots were neither indiscriminate nor trigger-happy. As in everything, he was as professional as he needed to be. If he wanted to take something and the sun was not out, he would wait for it; if he wanted a shadow at a certain angle, he would wait for it. He would stalk the Uffington White Horse or Maiden Castle or the stones at Avepury until the place and the light were right and his friends who drove him would have to wait and stalk too. It was often anxious for them and difficult for him since he was seldom well and that kind of effort and concentration was exhausting.

Paul had an economical and obsessive eye and his new toy at once became a valuable weapon.

The very first photographs that he took on the way to the United States related to the preoccupations of his painting; a ship’s mast and rigging was a slender echo and anticipation of the open cage structure he often used, the complicated interplay of hard edges and hollowed shadows within the curve of a life-boat proclaimed his interest in the mystery of ordinary things seen from unordinary angles.

No one could have been a less doctrinaire or literary surrealist but he had a punning vision which, with his aptitude for analogue, made his instinctive reaction to the world very close to the more self-conscious and sophisticated surrealist one. His wit with the camera was a natural extension of the wittiness of his words and of his attitude to life. He loved to see the funny side of things without being destructive so the objects that he photographed at Swanage, for example, for his article “Seaside Surrealism” – absurd concrete seats, huge pretentious lamp standards, three concrete steps isolated in a bed of pebbles – all have a double life of incongruity and of beauty.

While on the one hand he used his photographs as immediate aides-memoire to pin down a fleeting glimpse of the famous “Genus Loci” or to record the particular lie of a dead tree or a shadow on a wall, on the other hand he recorded aspects of the countryside that he was never tempted to paint directly but whichhe translated into the magic of his painting. Stone upon stone in miles of dry stone wall, the endless meeting and parting of furrows in an enormous field, layers of cork drying, stacked and roofed like rows of stone fishing huts, the invisible but eloquent bones of a landscape under stretches of featureless grass, all these ancient repetitions, natural or man-made, extend the more immediate subjects of his work and give them their timeless quality.

Paul Nash always had a feeling for the horizontal, at once boundless and embracing, and this is especially noticeable in his photographs. His Kodak, whether by chance or intention, took an exceptionally wide picture. But he always expected things to work for him and they usually did.

John Piper 1977

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