Victor Willing: Visions


Sale price £12.50 Regular price £22.50

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John McEwenVictoria HowarthLiz Gilmore & Nicholas Serota 

Softcover | 22.1 x 1.27 x 27.43 cm | 112 pp

Art/Books | 2020 | 9781908970534

Victor Willing (1928–88) established his reputation while still a student at the Slade School of Art in the early 1950s, and because of his talent, vigour and intellect was known as the ‘spokesman of his generation’. This volume is the first monograph in two decades on this brilliant, ground-breaking but overlooked painter, who has been described by Nicholas Serota as someone who burned the brightest in a bright generation, and whose paintings ‘continue to demonstrate that this was no shooting star but rather a fiery comet which would eventually guide us all’.

The book covers each decade of his tumultuous life and career, from his time at the Slade when he produced nude studies and portraits, his life in Portugal with his wife Paula Rego, his return to London in the 1970s, and his untimely death from multiple sclerosis in 1988 at the age of sixty. He is acclaimed especially for his work in the 1970s and 1980s, which present dream and hallucinatory imagery and a personal iconography that in its childlike forms reached towards a new language of figuration. The book includes work from all aspects of Willing’s artistic practice, including painting, drawing, and sculpture.

A text by his close friend and long-time admirer, the critic John McEwen, illustrated by works and unseen material from the family archive, considers each phase of the artist’s life, including darker periods of artistic and emotional difficulty.


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