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Exquisite and original as always, David Gentleman gives us delights and surprises on every page (Claire Tomalin)
So many of David Gentleman's drawings are for me familiar territory. I've lived in three of the locations he pictures and even have my hair cut in his barber's. David has spent a lifetime depicting with wit and affection a London he has made his own, in this book looking at some of its neglected corners. So London, You're Beautiful is a tribute which, if I can't quite endorse, it's only because beauty often brings with it exasperation. So for me (and I suspect for him) it's London, You're Beautiful -- so how about taking a bit more care of yourself? (Alan Bennett)
I cherish David Gentleman's marvellous new book of watercolours (Libby Purves The Times)
He delivers a poetry of exultant concentration...Gentleman is an artist-designer who has worked across an exceptionally wide range of formats (Julian Bell Guardian)
The artist and illustrator, 82, has been responsible for some of the most-seen public artworks in this country ... Just as memorable, in a different vein, is the work in Gentleman's gorgeous new book of watercolour paintings (Nancy Durrant The Times)
Well-known for his captivating illustrations...a highly talented artist (The Lady)
Perhaps the last of the great polymath designer / painters (Camden New Journal)
Selected as a Guardian Literary Event of 2012 (Guardian)
David Gentleman has been drawing London all his adult life. But can you look afresh at the place where you live? Over the past year he has immersed himself in his home city to try and find out. London, You're Beautiful, the resulting book of sketches, drawings and watercolours, arranged month by month, shows a year in the life of London, and reveals the city that is hidden in plain view. David's notes on his work offer us a privileged insight into how an artist sees and captures the ever-shifting light and colours, movement and figures of a teeming city as it moves through the seasons. He describes how he chooses techniques and materials to render the spellbound children at his grandchildren's Camden primary school; the spectacular transformation of Hendon's streets from brown to pink to green with April's cherry blossom; the strange world evoked by the city under snow. Through David's eyes we see London anew as he shows us how the sun turns rubbish-strewn ditches into enchanting waterside glades, or how just twenty-two lines on paper can deliver the dazzling complexity of Canary Wharf's windows.
This book is for everyone who would like to understand how an artist works, for lovers of the Olympic city that will be celebrated in London 2012, and for those who long to see a familiar world, transformed.
David Gentleman, born in London in 1930, is a watercolourist and printmaker, working in many media and scales. He has designed British stamps and coins and the platform-length mural at Charing Cross tube station, well-known to Londoners, that is blown up from his wood engravings. His studio is at the top of an early Victorian house in Camden Town between the crowded, rackety Camden Lock and the green spaces of Regent's Park and Primrose Hill.
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