Best Modern British Art Books of 2011 so far

 By: Nick Higbee
It has already been a fantastic year for Modern British Art publications ranging from the very best in British Design to long awaited monographs on renowned masters of modern art in Britain.

The highly anticipated John Piper in Kent and Sussex concentrates on Pipers love of the British Landscape. With contributions by acclaimed experts including Alexandra Harris, David Heathcote and Richard Ingrams this title explores the full breadth of Pipers art including the stained glass and church vestment works produced for the Romney Marsh Churches and the famous Chichester Cathedral Tapestry commission. Some of Pipers most important works were produced in Kent and Sussex, and for those with a particular interest in Sussex includes notable works from the collection at Pallant House Gallery.

John Piper in Kent and Sussex is a must for both Piper fans, and those interested in art works associated with the Sussex and Kent Landscape.

Following the success of the recent publications on Ravilious - Ravilious in Pictures and Ravilious at War, the third volume in the trilogy has now been published. Ravilious in Pictures: A Country Life features twenty-two beautiful watercolours painted in north-west Essex and on the coast. Accompanying essays by James Russell explore the artist's home life, introducing the people and places he know around the villages of Castle, Hedingham and Great Bardfield, and offering insights into the culture and customs of 1930s England.

For those with a passion for design there have already been a number of comprehensive books published.

The revised and updated version of Lesley Jackson's Robin and Lucienne Day: Pioneers of Contemporary Design and A Symbol for the Festival: Abram Games and the Festival of Britain by Naomi Games are just a taste of the collection of design publications released in 2011.

Both books celebrate British design at its best and coincide with the 60th Anniversary of the Festival of Britain and the current revival of interest in post-war art and design.

For those interested in post-war British painting, the long awaited and first ever full-scale monograph on John Craxton, written by Ian Collins will be welcomed. Illustrated throughout in colour, this book brings to life his paintings from the early neo-romantic pastoral pieces to the vibrant paintings inspired by Crete. The book examines Craxton's important role in post-war British art and covers his early relationship with Lucian Freud. It also looks at his wonderful work for ballet and book designs.

Later in the year, Pallant House Gallery will be holding the first major retrospective of the work of Edward Burra since 1985. The large collection of his paintings on show will be accompanied by a major publication written by Simon Martin and will bring to light previously unpublished paintings.
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