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Hilary Spurling

Autor(a) de The Unknown Matisse

21+ Works 1,767 Membros 46 Críticas

About the Author

Hilary Spurling was born in 1940 in Stockport England. She attended Somerville College in Oxford. She bacame the arts and theater critic for The Spectator during the 1960's. She was also the reviewer for The Observer and The Daily Telegraph. She has written several biographies including Pearl Buck mostrar mais in China and Matisse the Master: The Conquest of Colour 1909-1954, which won the 2005 Whitebread Book of the Year Award and the Los Angeles Book Prize for Biography in 2006. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: Clare Kendall


Obras por Hilary Spurling

Associated Works

Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book (1986) — Editor, algumas edições132 exemplares
Mother and Son (1955) — Introdução, algumas edições94 exemplares
Two Worlds and Their Ways (1949) — Introdução, algumas edições74 exemplares
A Half of Two Lives (1963) — Introdução — 12 exemplares
Peake in China: Memoirs of Ernest Cromwell Peake (2014) — Editor — 8 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Outros nomes
Forrest, Susan Hilary (birth name)
Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
Stockport, Cheshire, England, UK
Locais de residência
London, England, UK
Oxford University (Somerville)
arts editor
theater critic
literary editor
book reviewer
Spurling, John (spouse)
Prémios e menções honrosas
The Heywood Hill Literary Prize (2003)
David Higham Assoc.

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Hilary Spurling, née Forrest, was born in Stockport, England. She was educated at Clifton High School and graduated from Oxford University. She became arts editor, theater critic, and then literary editor of The Spectator, and a regular book reviewer for The Observer and the Daily Telegraph. In 1961, she married playwright John Spurling, with whom she had three children. Her first book was a biography of novelist Ivy Compton-Burnett, published in two volumes: Ivy When Young: The Early Life of Ivy Compton-Burnett 1884-1919 (1974) and Secrets of a Woman's Heart: The Later Life of Ivy Compton-Burnett 1920-1969 (1984). She is also the author of a biography of the novelist Paul Scott and of the painter Henri Matisse, published in two volumes in 1998 and 2005. The latter volume, Matisse the Master: The Conquest of Colour 1909-1954 (2005) won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award.

The Girl from the Fiction Department (2002), is about Sonia Orwell, George Orwell's wife and literary executor.
Spurling won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Burying the Bones: Pearl Buck in China (2010). Her most recent book was Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time (2017).



Well worth reading to learn about Matisse the artist and Matisse the person, and those who surrounded, supported, and were part of his life.
dvoratreis | 3 outras críticas | May 22, 2024 |
Although I like his work (his later work, it turns out), and I've been to Nice and have seen where he lived and been to the Matisse Museum devoted to his work in Cimiez, it turns out I knew nothing about him. This book has fixed that, at least in part. Because it is only part of the story, taking you up to 1908, when he was 39 and just becoming successful. Since he lived to be 85, there is a second volume that needs to be read.
dvoratreis | 3 outras críticas | May 22, 2024 |
Such fun! And what a cute edition, with its play on the classic paperback caricature illustrations and a pile of the rainbow-covered 12 editions of the Dance.

Now that I'm 7/12ths of the way through Powell's masterwork, I have started dipping into Spurling's dance - cautiously, I might add, since it is by design full of spoilers! Powell himself asking Spurling, then a young biographer, to write this, and she has since commented that it felt like taking an engine apart and ending up covered in grease.

This is truly an indispensable guide. Powell's 12 books are not so much a series as one novel split into two parts. Spurling exhaustively chronicles characters (real and fictional, appearing and mentioned) along with artists and places that recur through the work. The biographies are concise but effective, and include page references for all appearances of each character (with the exception of Jenkins, of course!) Concluding with a short but effective synopsis of each of the 12 novels alongside a chronology.

45 years after its publication, Spurling's Invitation is still regularly consulted by fans of Powell. And, boy, have I come to understand why. With each passing volume, the complexity of character and circumstance deepens. Who is anyone - Jean Templer, Kenneth Widmerpool, Molly Andriadis - really? We see characters from Nick's point of view, we hear about them from many others, and we reflect on conversations and engagements we experienced years ago. The Dance will reward endless rereading, and I'm comforted that Spurling will be there to accompany me.

A genuinely useful companion to the Dance.
… (mais)
therebelprince | 2 outras críticas | Apr 21, 2024 |
I think that Matisse’s paintings are wonderful because he enjoyed doing them and he put ideas and feelings into them. But I wonder about our experiences when we go an art gallery. Art goers come from different spheres of life. If I look at something and don't understand the deeper ideas within I can choose to shut up or I can comment at the level I can reach - nothing wrong with that. When I saw an exhibition of Matisse Cirque pictures I was bemused because I could see many of the forms but I could not understand Matisse's choice of subjects for each picture. I was a little disappointed that there was nothing there that appealed to me like his blue nudes. But as I listened and read about the pictures that I was looking at I discovered some interesting ideas and I felt that there was a journey through the sequenced pictures. Months later I saw an exhibition of Fauvist paintings which were hung in black walled rooms with strong lighting illuminating the work. The effect was stunning. There are no works from Matisse (that I can think of) that are The Great Masterpiece that everyone knows and can name (people can reply to this review as they wish) but in the history of art Matisse contributed to and experienced the creation of a number of interesting genres.

Before he became an artist Matisse spent a little more than a year in Paris. In those months the Eiffel Tower was built up from nothing to the great structure it is today. He then went sick and ended up in bed from some months with not much to do except learn to paint. His final pieces were also created from wheel chair or bed.

I am sure that colour was of prime importance to Matisse when he was a Fauvist. I am not so sure that colour was so important to him when he was cutting out shapes, it seems to be more the desire to suggest objects using flat shapes, and even there he was not trying to develop 3D images but simply create objects flatly.

The artist should not be concerned about measures, whether time, or acceptance. Instead, when working on his/her art, the artist should, with all of his/her capacity and will, enter the realm where these measurements don't apply; where all there is is the uniqueness, creativity, and vision of each artist. Of course, this is very difficult; the ego feeds on measurements of power, influence, wealth, success and so on. Once ridden of these concerns, the artist is ready to produce and express uniqueness, which is the contribution that adds to art, that enriches both: art and the artist. And if afterwards, when the critics/experts, gallery owners and the like, decide that the art produced doesn't "measure up," then there is reason for the artist to savour a degree of satisfaction, in that he/she expressed what undoubtedly is his/hers alone. This doesn't mean that the work will necessarily go unnoticed. On the contrary; it might be recognized as its very own kind, just like the great works that have been created, certainly, by the same process.

The book? Too much biography and not much on Matisses's art itself.
… (mais)
antao | 3 outras críticas | Aug 20, 2020 |


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Associated Authors

Dominique Szymusiak Foreword, Exhibition Curator, Contributor
Gary Tinterow Exhibition Curator
Norman Rosenthal Exhibition Curator
Ann Dumas Exhibition Curator, Contributor
MaryAnne Stevens Exhibition Curator
Phillip King Foreword
Martin Ephson Sponsor's Preface
Jack Flam Contributor
Kathleen Brunner Contributor
Rémi Labrusse Contributor
Andre Zavriew Translator
Pearl S. Buck Associated Name
Olga Meerson Cover artist
Clare Kendal Author photograph
Anthony Powell Introduction


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