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Maurice de Sausmarez 1915-1969

Maurice de Sausmarez 1915-1969 - book cover



Published to coincide with the exhibition 'Maurice de Sausmarez 1915-1969: A Centenary Exhibition' (21 October 2015 - 20 February 2016).



Detailed Description

By Hilary Diaper, with an essay by Richard Cork. Foreword by Abigail Harrison-Moore, Griselda Pollock and Layla Bloom.

Published by the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, October 2015

64pp plus cover, 265 x 225 mm

93 colour images (inc. cover), 12 black and white images


Due to his early death, de Sausmarez has been significantly overlooked in the histories of British modernism. Yet his role as the progressive Head of Department of Fine Art at the University of Leeds (1950s) and subsequently Head of Department of Fine Art at Hornsey College of Art, London (1959-62) then Principal at Byam Shaw School of Drawing and Painting, London (1962-69) helped shape the work and careers of many artists and designers whose names are well-known today.

Alongside Harry Thubron and others, de Sausmarez was instrumental in the development of Basic Design training in British art schools, as his seminal book Basic Design: The Dynamics of Visual Form (1964) bears testament. At the same time, he remained committed to painting in a career that spanned almost three decades.

As a painter, his work was exhibited from the 1930s onwards with the Artists’ International Association, the London Group and the New English Art Club. The Royal Academy accepted his work for the first time in 1947, and he was elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1964. Thereafter he continued to exhibit annually, and regularly served on the RA’s selection committees. A re-examination of de Sausmarez’s life and work is long overdue and this exhibition and associated publications will make a pertinent contribution to the current rekindling of interest in art schools and art education in the mid-20th century, as well as to the on-going discourse concerning the creative arts in modern society.

Dr. Hilary Diaper has worked closely with the artist’s estate to provide a unique insight into his life and work. Drawing from both the de Sausmarez family and the University's own collections and other institutions and private collections, the catalogue includes many of de Sausmarez's paintings, drawings and prints from all stages of his career, as well as photographs.

The catalogue also includes a new essay by critic Richard Cork.

The exhibition catalogue is kindly supported by the Leeds Art Fund.


Also published in celebration of the centenary of Maurice de Sausmarez's birth:

On Artists and their Making: Selected Writing of Maurice de Sausmarezavailable from Unicorn Press.

Hilary Diaper (ed.), On Artists and their Making: Selected Writings of Maurice de Sausmarez, London: Unicorn Press, 2015. Includes contributions by Hilary Diaper, James Dyson, Peter Kennard and Beth Williamson