Wednesday, 25 September 2013

A Book You Have to Have

       Sargy Mann is one of the living painters I admire the most. He was born in 1937 and was a student at Camberwell School of Art. Mann is a thoughtful and dedicated artist who interrogates himself on how we perceive the world around us. His works bear a sophisticated beauty that soothes the soul. I saw three of his shows and he never fails to mesmerise me and send me back to my easel with humbleness and determination.

Sargy Mann The Fields at Lemons, oil 28x36 in., 1972, originally in the collection of Kingsley and Jane Amis
( image courtesy of Peter Mann)

      Five years ago his son Peter, himself a visual artist, produced a book in which Mann analyses several of his paintings. He goes through his life and career, talks about the work and his painting language. This is a fantastic book, a go-back-to text, a real insight in the life of a painter, where Mann explains about the search for his motif, how he proceeds from it to conceiving a work, the difficulties in realising his ideas and finally the completion of the painting. Spacial tension, rhythms, the language of light, are all taken into consideration as he traces the process of painting. He also takes the reader through his moments of excitement, of disappointment, creation and distruction that we all experience at the easel.

     Reproductions of the pictures are included as well as drawings, studies and many photographs of Mann working. Every painting is also photographed on the wall where it permanently resides, giving a sense of the scale and the beauty of these pictures.

     The reason why I am re-reviewing the book, which I had written about in 2010, is that, as Mann has continued to paint and evolve since it was published, there's a lot of material that was not included. Peter, Sargy Mann's son, wants to add a new chapter and make the book available to more people by turning it into an eBook, and he is fund-raising in order to complete the project. 

     ON THIS PAGE you will find a very clear statement and explanation on what he is going to do with the money as well as reviews of the existing book and a video preview of some of the pages. Peter is basically giving people a chance to pre-order the eBook: pledge £5 and you will be able to download a copy once the project is complete.  Pledge a little more ( £50) and you will receive a signed copy of the printed edition as well as the eBook download when it will be ready as well as signed post cards and other goodies. 

Sargy Mann, Three Bathers, image courtesy of Peter Mann

    Oh, and there's one thing you should know, the first painting on this page was done early in Mann's career just before his eyesight started to deteriorate, finally leaving him completely blind in 2005. This second image belongs to his latest body of work. The progressive deterioration of his eyesight has sharpened is research on perception. He has never stopped painting and had three successful shows since the total loss of his vision. His work, rather than being left limp by the disability, is more beautiful, accomplished and respected than ever.

" As long as one has the ability to organise materials and is able to discover new experiences, art can be made.  I have always believed that artists are people who can act with precision in a state of extreme insecurity. It is not always easy or comfortable but it is what we like doing and I hope to keep going."                                                                                              

                                                                                                                         Sargy Mann

Please consider contributing to the publishing and buy the eBook with or without the printed version, it is an inspiring and thought-provoking read that any painter could benefit from. Hurry up, the campaign has just started and will only last one month.

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