All Too Human tells the story of how painters in twentieth-century Britain have used paint to record their personal, sensuous, immediate and often intense experiences of life. Spanning a century, this history encompasses a diverse but related group of painters who focused on the depiction of the human figure and everyday landscape they inhabited. Despite their great differences, these artists all shared a similarly intense and scrutinising gaze, and were committed to rendering intimate and powerful representations of humanity.
Concentrating primarily on painters active in the second half of the twentieth century - including Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, R.B. Kitaj, Leon Kossoff, Paula Rego, F.N. Souza and Euan Uglow among others - All Too Human also establishes connections with a previous generation of artists, such as Walter Richard Sickert, David Bomberg, Alberto Giacometti, Chaim Soutine, Stanley Spencer and William Coldstream, who set a new path for portraying a personal, subjective and tangible reality. Insightful texts explore the relationships between these artists and their influences, as well as the relationship between imagemaking, painting and photography. Celebrating the role of women artists - particularly Paula Rego - in the traditionally male-dominated field of figurative painting, All Too Human also showcases works by a younger generation of women artists such as Celia Paul, Jenny Saville, Cecily Brown and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, who have reappropriated and reinvented the figure but continue to paint in a manner that feels true to their experience of life. Illustrated with over 120 intimate, poignant, and unflinchingly honest images of friends, lovers and relatives, landscapes and cityscapes, and representing personal experiences and relationships, All Too Human reveals complex and compelling stories, and captures the essence of what makes us human.
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