Victor Willing




ISBN: 9781908970534 Category:

John McEwen, Victoria Howarth, Liz Gilmore


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.

Additional information

Weight 756 g
Dimensions 22.4 x 27.5 cm
Publisher name Art Books Publishing Ltd
Publication date 30 March 2020
Number of pages 112
Format Paperback / softback
Contributors Foreword by Nicholas Serota
Dimensions 22.4 x 27.5 cm
Weight 756 g
Sir Nicholas Serota CH is the chair of Arts Council England and the former director of Tate. Liz Gilmore is Director of Hastings Contemporary. Victoria Howarth is Curator at Hastings Contemporary. John McEwen is a writer and art critic. He is the former art critic of the Spectator and the Sunday Telegraph, the arts editor of The Field, and a founder of The Oldie.