art critic

art critic

David Sylvester: The Making of an Art Critic 1941-1956

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John-Paul Stonard (Independent Scholar) The art critic David Sylvester (1924-2001) launched his career during the Second World War, writing for Tribune Magazine, and meeting artists and writers in London during the Blitz. His experiences, which can be reconstructed from his own unpublished memoirs and letters, show the vitality of the London art world in the 1940s. His employment as a secretary for Henry Moore, as well as his friendship with Francis Bacon in the post-War years were the basis for his own growing position as champion of British art, strongly informed by his experience of French art. All this changed however in 1956, when Sylvester had in his own words a 'Damascene moment' while visiting the MoMA travelling show 'Modern Art in the United States' at the Tate Gallery. This paper was presented at the conference, "In the Same Boat”: British and American Visual Culture During the Second World War, in the History of Art department at Yale University, May 8-9, 2015.