In My View: Personal Reflections on Art by Today’s Leading Artists by Simon Grant (ed) - review by Martin Gayford

Martin Gayford

Canvassing Opinions

In My View: Personal Reflections on Art by Today’s Leading Artists

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Thames & Hudson 208pp £19.95 order from our bookshop
 

One day in August 1831, John Constable wrote to his friend C R Leslie about a painting by Watteau in Dulwich Picture Gallery, ‘which looks as it should be painted in honey – so mellow – so tender – so soft & so delicious’. When artists discuss their predecessors in this way we get a double dose of insight: not only in this case into the work of Watteau but, just as interestingly, into how Constable thought about oil paint – which, evidently, was as a sensuous, almost edible substance. 

This is the kind of two-way revelation that might be expected from, and is sometimes delivered by, In My View, an anthology of more than 75 reflections by contemporary artists on work from a period somewhat vaguely, if necessarily, defined as ‘the past’. Before opening it, however, it is worth

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