Published by Royal Academy of Arts. Text by Helen Valentine, Annette Wickham.
The drawings of the pioneering painter Laura Knight (1877–1970) in the collection of the Royal Academy confirm her exceptional gift for capturing life’s multiplicity and movement. Knight was the first female member to be elected to the Royal Academy of Arts and in 1965 the Academy’s major retrospective of her work recognized her importance in British art.
Drawing was a key part of Knight’s art, and allowed her to capture at speed her various subjects, which include travelers, circus performers, boxers, ballet dancers and ice skaters, and to portray the exuberant life of her models. It also proved a vital recording tool when she witnessed one of the most important events of the 20th century: the Nuremberg trials.
In this new publication, Annette Wickham and Helen Valentine present the Royal Academy’s holdings of her drawings with an in-depth analysis focused on three key subjects within her work: the nude, the working woman and country life.
Published by National Portrait Gallery. Text by Rosie Broadley.
Laura Knight (1877-1970) was one of the leading British painters of the twentieth century. However, her rejection of modernism and her association with the mainstream led to a decline in her reputation, and since her death she has fallen into obscurity. This long-overdue reappraisal of a pioneering female artist features over 35 of her finest works from across her long and prolific career, demonstrating both the variety of her subjects and her consummate skills as an artist. During the course of an extraordinarily productive career that spanned over 70 years, Knight's work reflected her commitment to depicting modern life and her fascination with the human figure, as asserted in her iconic "Self Portrait" (1913). This book demonstrates Knight's impressive skills as a painter and draftsman and her compassionate approach to the sitters with whom she worked, while also presenting a distinctive picture of twentieth-century Britain.