Opening in October 2014, and marking the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, Piano Nobile is delighted to present an exhibition celebrating the work of Paul Nash (1889- 1946), one of the most significant British artists of the twentieth century.
When war broke out in 1914 Nash was building a reputation as a painter of subtle watercolours: an understated modernist who nevertheless retained his links with the English Romantic tradition. Sent to the Western Front in early 1917, Nash was invalided home after a night-time fall – an accident that quite probably saved his life. When he returned to the Ypres Salient later in the year it was as an official war artist, and this posting revolutionised his art.
If 2nd Lieutenant Nash had been killed in action - as could so easily have happened - he would be remembered today as a gifted and hugely promising water-colourist, but the providential night-time fall ensured that his potential in watercolour was realised completely. Nash began his career in watercolours, and was drawn to the medium throughout his life, executing many of his most important and iconic works in watercolour. Piano Nobile will show watercolours from throughout Nash's extensive career, representing all the significant periods and themes of his artistic output. The exhibition will draw on museum and private collections, and include many hitherto unseen works. Many of the works on display will be offered for sale.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue written by David Boyd Haycock, author of Paul Nash (Tate Publishing, 2002) and A Crisis of Brilliance: Five Young British Artists and the Great War (Old Street Publishing, 2009), offering a comprehensive survey of Nash's watercolours.