Tom Lubbock

English Graphic by Tom Lubbock

English Graphic is a book of essays on the subject of illustration, with the focus entirely on English artists using graphic media; drawings, prints and watercolours. The pieces are largely drawn from Tom Lubbock’s weekly Great Works column for the Independent, with some longer pieces originally published as reviews or catalogue essays.

The historical span of the book is broad – from the Uffington White Horse to the Winchester Psalter Hellmouth to Harry Beck’s London Underground Map and beyond. The high point of English Graphic art in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century makes up the heart of the book, with Fuseli, Blake, Bewick and Palmer all the subject of extended essays.

The fifty or so images range from the visionary to the empirical, from folk art to caricature. Connecting and overlapping ideas on line and shape run through the book; maps, islands, clouds, swarms, wombs, skins, dots, contours and boundaries. Energetic, coherent and strange, English Graphic presents an electrical storm of ideas and illuminations provocatively argued by one of our most brilliant writers on art.

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Great Works: 50 Paintings Explored by Tom Lubbock

The best of Tom Lubbock, one of Britain's most intelligent, outspoken and revelatory art critics, is collected here for the first time.

There are electrifying insights - using Hitchcock's Suspicion to explore the lighting effects in a Zurbarán still life, imagining three short films to tease out the meanings of El Greco's Boy Lighting a Candle - and cool judgements - how Vuillard's genius is confined to a single decade, when he worked at home, why Ingres is really 'an exciting wierdo'.

Ranging with passionate perspicacity over eight hundred years of Western art, whether it's Giotto's raging vices, Guston's 'slobbish, squidgy' pinks, Géricault's pile of truncated limbs or Gwen John's Girl in a Blue Dress, Tom Lubbock writes with immediacy and authority about the fifty works which most gripped his imagination.

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Until Further Notice, I Am Alive by Tom Lubbock

In 2008, Tom Lubbock was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and told he had only one or two years to live. In this remarkable record of those years, lived out in three-month intervals between scans, he examines the question of how to live with death in sight.

As the tumour progressed, Tom engaged intensely and imaginatively with work, art, friends, and his wife and their young son, while trying to remain focused on the fact of his impending death. His tumour was located in the area of the brain associated with language, and he describes losing control over the spoken and written word and the resources he drew on to keep communicating; a struggle which brought him ever closer to the mysteries of the origin of speech. As the Independent's chief art critic, he was renowned for the clarity and unconventionality of his writing, and the same fierce intelligence permeates this extraordinary memoir. This is a book written by a man wholly engaged with life even as it ends.

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