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Strange, Angry Objects

Owen Hatherley: The Brutalist Decades

17 November 2016
A3: Threads and Connections 
by Peter​ Ahrends.
Right Angle, 128 pp., £18, December 2015, 978 0 9532848 9 4
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Raw Concrete: The Beauty of Brutalism 
by Barnabas Calder.
Heinemann, 416 pp., £25, April 2016, 978 0 434 02244 1
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Space, Hope and Brutalism: English Architecture 1945-75 
by Elain Harwood.
Yale, 512 pp., £60, September 2015, 978 0 300 20446 9
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Concrete Concept: Brutalist Buildings around the World 
by Christopher Beanland.
Frances Lincoln, 192 pp., £18, February 2016, 978 0 7112 3764 3
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This Brutal World 
by Peter Chadwick.
Phaidon, 224 pp., £29.95, April 2016, 978 0 7148 7108 0
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Modern Forms: A Subjective Atlas of 20th-Century Architecture 
by Nicolas Grospierre.
Prestel, 224 pp., £29.99, February 2016, 978 3 7913 8229 6
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Modernist Estates: The Buildings and the People Who Live in Them 
by Stefi Orazi.
Frances Lincoln, 192 pp., £25, September 2015, 978 0 7112 3675 2
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Architecture an Inspiration 
by Ivor Smith.
Troubador, 224 pp., £24.95, November 2014, 978 1 78462 069 1
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... For us​ ,’ Steffen Ahrends told his son Peter, who was born in Berlin in 1933, ‘the history of architecture started with the Soviet 1917 revolution.’ It wasn’t entirely a joke. For many designers in the Weimar Republic, and for subsequent ...
1 October 1998
Bodies of Law 
by Alan Hyde.
Princeton, 290 pp., £39.50, July 1997, 0 691 01229 6
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... childbirth in London, where she had been brought to be exhibited, is preserved, in a complete half-section, in the Hunterian Museum. She inspired one of the last, unfinished works of the artist Helen Chadwick, who wanted to restore the unnamed pigmy to history, memory and human status as a person – to personhood, in short. University museums and hospital teaching departments are richly stocked with such ...

At the V&A

Esther Chadwick: Opus Anglicanum

5 January 2017
... it was also a moving picture. Along the length of the chasuble’s spine are four figurative scenes contained within pierced or ‘barbed’ quatrefoils. They show the martyrdoms of Saints Stephen, Peter and Paul, the Virgin and Child enthroned, and the Crucifixion. When the priest turned east to celebrate the consecration of the sacrament, and raised his arms aloft with the bread and wine, Christ ...

In Bexhill

Peter​ Campbell: Unpopular Culture

5 June 2008
... roughly worked surfaces and cloddish weight of the bronzes he has chosen – the almost featureless head by William Turnbull, for example, or the alien-like figure standing on three prongs by Lynn Chadwick – is to remember the circumstances in which he first saw them. ‘No matter how hard I try to supplant the thought, the principal association the sculptures I have selected bring to my mind is with ...

Political Purposes

Frances Spalding: Art in postwar Britain

15 April 1999
New Art New World: British Art in Postwar Society 
by Margaret Garlake.
Yale, 279 pp., £35, July 1998, 0 300 07292 9
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Cultural Offensive: America’s Impact on British Art since 1945 
by John Walker.
Pluto, 304 pp., £45, September 1988, 0 7453 1321 3
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... symbolic significance at a time when governments were desperate to cement the fragile political reconstruction of Europe’. In a 1952 essay for the Venice Biennale on the forged metal sculptures of Chadwick, Armitage and Butler, Herbert Read wrote that they displayed the ‘geometry of fear’ and found allusions to snares, teeth and claws. In the wake of the atom bomb and revelations about the ...
18 July 1985
The Ponting Affair 
by Richard Norton-Taylor.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £5.95, June 1985, 0 900821 74 4
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Who Killed Hilda Murrell? 
by Judith Cook.
New English Library, 182 pp., £1.95, June 1985, 0 450 05885 9
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... Mr Clive Ponting OBE would be plying his way, ever upwards, in the Ministry of Defence. This is no exaggeration. Simply a statement of fact. I am in a position to know. However right Paul Rogers, Lee Chadwick, Arthur Gavshon and I may have been, the fact is that without the sustained interest of Guardian readers, and, in my case, the Labour Party up and down the country, there was no way which the ...

In a Garden in Milan

Adam Phillips: Augustine’s Confessions

25 October 2018
Confessions: A New Translation 
by Augustine, translated by Peter​ Constantine.
Liveright, 329 pp., £22.99, February 2018, 978 0 87140 714 6
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... with such startling intelligence about the individual’s dissatisfaction with what she is supposed to want, by the powers that be (the society, the body). ‘In over one and a half millennia,’ Peter Constantine writes in the introduction to his compelling new translation, ‘Confessions has maintained a persistent and intense relevance for readers throughout the world.’ And part of this ...

Swiping at Suburbs

Andrew Saint: The course of British urbanism

31 March 2005
Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City 
by Tristram Hunt.
Weidenfeld, 432 pp., £25, June 2004, 0 297 60767 7
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... had anything trenchant to say about cities, at any rate in the early part of his period. Scott, Southey, Carlyle, Disraeli, Roscoe, Dickens, Cobden, Bright, Ruskin, Macaulay, Eliot, Gaskell, Arnold, Chadwick and Toulmin-Smith are all there; and so are Tocqueville, Guizot and Sismondi. At some cost to coherence, the star-studded cast rolls by. Nor are the arts forgotten. One reason Hunt so fiercely ...

Successive Applications of Sticking-Plaster

Andrew Saint: The urban history of Britain

1 November 2001
The Cambridge Urban History of Britain. Vol. III: 1840-1950 
edited by Martin Daunton.
Cambridge, 944 pp., £90, January 2001, 0 521 41707 4
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... History know how gloomy a book they have written? Pessimism suffuses these pages from start almost to finish. ‘Why have so many of Britain’s great cities fared so badly in the 20th century?’ Peter Clark, the general editor of the series, asks in his preface. Turn the page, and Martin Daunton’s introduction descends with unconcealed relish into the ‘decay, corruption, stench and stickiness ...

Lab Lib

M.F. Perutz

19 April 1984
Rutherford: Simple Genius 
by David Wilson.
Hodder, 639 pp., £14.95, February 1984, 0 340 23805 4
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... near the absolute zero. Wilson’s most vivid descriptions of Rutherford’s way of working are drawn from one of the very few among his collaborators who are still alive, the Russian physicist Peter Kapitza: Many admire Rutherford’s intuition which told him how to set up the experiment and what to look for ... Intuition is usually defined as an instinctive process of the mind, something ...
2 March 1989
The Canonisation of Daniel Defoe 
by P.N. Furbank and W.R. Owens.
Yale, 210 pp., £20, February 1988, 0 300 04119 5
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The ‘Tatler’: Vols I-III 
edited by Donald Bond.
Oxford, 590 pp., £60, July 1987, 0 19 818614 2
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The ‘Spectator’: Vols I-V 
edited by Donald Bond.
Oxford, 512 pp., £55, October 1987, 9780198186106
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... in 1790, and end up with Professor J.R. Moore of Indiana University, whose principal work extended from the 1930s to the 1960s. We learn of William Lee, sanitary reformer and colleague of Edwin Chadwick, who found his match in the equally expansive (canon-wise) James Crossley – a more cautious and cunning operator, the extent of whose activities as a corpus-sweller has not been fully apparent ...
6 April 1995
Shark-Infested Waters: The Saatchi Collection of British Art in the Nineties 
by Sarah Kent.
Zwemmer, 270 pp., £19.95, November 1994, 0 302 00648 6
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The Reviews that Caused the Rumpus, and Other Pieces 
by Brian Sewell.
Bloomsbury, 365 pp., £12.99, November 1994, 0 7475 1872 6
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... for a show which opened at the start of the year in Glasgow – that the New Glasgow Boys were, to a lad, left out. In the summer the British Art Show arrived in London. In the meantime, Peter Fuller had died in a car crash. Fuller never lived to type out the words ‘Damien Hirst’. He died before the Turner Prize began to favour younger artists, before Saatchi started collecting the new ...

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