Circle Of The Monoliths (1937-38)
Notes from: Rennies Seaside Modern.
Paul Nash was an Official War Artist during both the First and Second World Wars.
He studied at the Slade School and later taught at the Royal College of Art where he encouraged his students, Ravilious and Bawden amongst them, to work as illustrators, designers and decorators.
The attempt by Nash to integrate his work into modern life was prompted by an avant-gardist desire to engage with audiences outside of the normal gallery context. Furthermore he hoped, like his design patrons Frank Pick and Harold Curwen, that art, beauty and modern life could be reconciled. Of course, Nash's own work was characterised by the sadness and melancholy of his own experience during WW1.
Nash was a member of Unit One (1933) and also of the English Surrealist movement. He was interested in photography and was at the forefront of attempts to integrate photgraphic elements into the visual language of the fine arts. Nash lived in Judd Street, London, at Dymchurch on Romney Marsh and in Dorset.
Nash's greatest paintings were often retrospective and symbolic representations of specific landscapes - the battlefields of WW1, the sea wall at Dymchurch and Romney Marsh in Kent, the Dorset coast, the ancient stone circle at Avebury, Wiltshire, and of other ancient sites in England including Wittemham Clumps.
Nash was an avant-gardist and polemical writer during the 1930s through the pages of the Architectural Review and Axis.
Article By: Dave Roberts.
First Published: 2007.
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