Paul Nash (11 May 1889 – 11 July 1946) was a British surrealist painter and war artist, as well as a photographer, writer and designer of applied art. Nash was among the most important landscape artists of the first half of the twentieth century. He played a key role in the development of Modernism in English art.
Born in London, Nash grew up in Buckinghamshire where he developed a love of the landscape. He entered the Slade School of Art but was poor at figure drawing and concentrated on landscape painting. Nash found much inspiration in landscapes with elements of ancient history, such as burial mounds, Iron Age hill forts such as Wittenham Clumps and the standing stones at Avebury in Wiltshire. The artworks he produced during World War I are among the most iconic images of the conflict. After the war Nash continued to focus on landscape painting, originally in a formalized, decorative style but, throughout the 1930s, in an increasingly abstract and surreal manner. In his paintings he often placed everyday objects into a landscape to give them a new identity and symbolism.
During World War II, although sick with the asthmatic condition that would kill him, he produced two series of anthropomorphic depictions of aircraft, before producing a number of landscapes rich in symbolism with an intense mystical quality. These have perhaps become among the best known works from the period. Nash was also a fine book illustrator, and also designed stage scenery, fabrics and posters.
He was the older brother of the artist John Nash.
'Paul Nash', a major exhibition of his work opened in October 2016 at Tate Britain, in London, and will continue until 5 March 2017.
Artist as subject
J. Leger & Son (London, UK) J. Leger & Son exhibition catalogue titled ‘Paintings, Water-colours & Sculptures by Contemporary Artists’
Photographer Unknown Black and white negative, Paul Nash in the backgarden of New House, Rye
Film and audio
Illustrator, filmmaker and comic book artist Dave McKean tells us about the influence of Paul Nash on his own work
Art historian Dr James Fox talks about the work of Paul Nash
Welcome to the world of The Dark Monarch, at Tate St Ives until 10 January 2010. Bracewell looks at eerie ...
The Hidden Emotion Behind a Masterpiece of War
War artists are artists who are commissioned through an official scheme to record the events of war
British group formed by Paul Nash in 1933 to promote modern art, architecture and design
As part of her work on Tate’s Archives & Access project Liane MacIver, Archive Data Inputter, looks at Paul Nash ...
The exhibition Ruin Lust at Tate Britain explores artists’ and subsequently photographers’ fascination with the ruin, via works from JMW ...
Tate Etc. invited a selection of contemporary artists featured in the new rehang of British art at Tate Britain to ...
Paying close attention to Edward Burra’s letters, scrapbooks and other archival material, Andrew Stephenson reveals the impact that the ...
Paul Nash was preoccupied with his own mortality from childhood. But being posted as official artist to both world wars ...
The artistic representation of British antiquity brings in its wake a problem of methodology: how are the working assumptions of ...