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Martin Gayford on the London Painters

Posted on 18 Apr 2018

Jasper Rees speaks to Martin Gayford, art critic for The Spectator, about Bacon, Freud, 'the school of London Painters', and his book, 'Modernists and Mavericks'.

The Walmer Castle pub, near Camberwell School of Art, with Gillian Ayres (centre) and Henry Mundy (to the right of Ayres), 1948 [Photo courtesy of Gillian Ayres]

The development of painting in London from the Second World War to the 1970s is the story of interlinking friendships, shared experiences and artistic concerns among a number of acclaimed artists, including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Gillian Ayres, Frank Bowling and Howard Hodgkin. Martin Gayford’s new book, Modernists and Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters 1945-70 draws on extensive first-hand interviews, many previously unpublished, with important witnesses and participants, to tease out the thread connecting these individual lives, and demonstrates how painting thrived in London against the backdrop of Soho bohemia in the 1940s and 1950s and ‘Swinging London’ in the 1960s.

Jasper Rees of artsdesk.com spoke to Martin for the latest episode of the Thames & Hudson podcast.

Modernists & Mavericks

Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters Martin Gayford