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Tai-Shan Schierenberg is a marvelous painter of portraits. Their impressive range runs from the great-and-good (as in the National Portrait Gallery’s celebrated study of Sir John Mortimer) to family and friends. But the portraiture, though central to the artist’s life and work, tells only part of the story, which is unfolded in these pages in three ways.
First is the beautifully reproduced work itself. Second, William Packer has written an incisive and stimulating essay which explores and extols Schierenberg’s achievement – ‘taking no short cuts, making no compromises, sticking to his personal commitment...to painting as painting’. And then the artist himself, as fluent with pen as with paint, gives a revelatory account of his development as painter and man. Born into an artistic and peripatetic family, son of a Chinese mother and German father, Schierenberg creates memorable pen portraits of the experiences, people, art and ideas that shaped him and his work. His tales of St. Martin’s and the Slade are convincing but sometimes surprising – for instance, the invaluable lessons learnt from the rigorous Euan Uglow. But then Tai-Shan is an artist whose own work, he believes, has paradoxical roots: ‘I’m actually an abstract painter waylaid by the gratification of realism.’ The gratification is ours, too; the work abounds with painterly passion and vivid life – whether the subject is a small child, an unnamed sitter, an erotic nude, or one of the magical and important landscapes taken from the artist’s beloved Norfolk. The work is a tour de force, unending and unfolding, to which the book does full and enchanting justice.
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William Packer was born in 1940, and educated at Windsor Grammar School and at Wimbledon School of Art, where he trained as painter. He taught for many years, but began to write about Art in 1969 and has been an art critic with the Financial Times since 1974. He has written several books, among them biographical studies of Henry Moore (1985) and of the Scottish painter, John Houston (2003). He was sole selector of the Arts Council’s very first British Art Show (1979), and has served on any number of juries and committees, including the Crafts Council and the Government Art Collection’s Advisory Committee. But he has always remained active as a painter, showing whenever possible, with his most recent solo show at the Piers Feetham Gallery in 2004. He is married, with three daughters and four grandchildren, and lives in Clapham.
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Book Description Momentum. Paperback. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB1902945522