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In this week’s blog Exhibitions Curator, Victoria Howarth, peers inside our Book of the Month, Frances Spalding’s Prunella Clough: Regions Unmapped.

Prunella Clough: Regions Unmapped 
RRP: £45.00 (10% off for Jerwood Gallery Members)

Frances Spalding CBE, FRSL, explores the artistic and personal life of Prunella Clough in this excellent, beautifully illustrated biography.  For those familiar with Spalding’s art historical and biographical writing, her latest book is unsurprisingly illuminating and inspiring - the perfect read for anyone interested in the work of this wonderful, innovative artist.

The book is structured chronologically, charting Clough’s family history and early life, her endlessly innovative and experimental artistic career, and the circumstances and immediate aftermath of her death.

Spalding explores Clough’s artistic development in the context of her daily life and critical reception, drawing insights from Clough’s letters, journals and notebooks as well as contemporary reviews and the works themselves, to reveal Clough’s unique vision, inspirations and cultural significance.  

There are over 150 colour images in this book including reproductions of Prunella Clough’s work, many archive photographs, fascinating journal entries and illustrations. There is also a very useful exhibition list, bibliography, and information on public collections that hold Clough’s work. This book is a thing of beauty, and essential reading for anyone interested in this great artist.

A major retrospective of Prunella Clough’s work is on display at Jerwood Gallery until Wednesday 6 July 2016. The exhibition is titled Prunella Clough: Unknown Countries, inspired by Clough’s statement that ‘each painting is an exploration in unknown country, or, as Manet said, it is like throwing oneself into the sea to learn to swim’. There are two works by Clough in the Jerwood Collection: Grand Union Canal, circa 1951 and Back Drop, 1993, both currently on display in the Foreshore Gallery as part of this exhibition.

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