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In Celebration of Cecil Collins: Visionary Artist and Educator

In Celebration of Cecil Collins: Visionary Artist and Educator


Cecil Collins (1908–1989) is arguably one of the greatest English visionary artists since Blake and Palmer. With emblematic figures such as the Fool, the Angel, the Pilgrim and the Sibyl in extraordinary landscapes, Collins portrayed an original and inspiring philosophy of life. He has been recognized as belonging to the Neo-Romantic movement of poetical art which flourished in the post-war period, but his dedication to depicting his mystic understanding made his work highly distinctive. His lyrical art is in some ways closer in spirit to the French Symbolists, especially Odilon Redon, and he has some affinities with Paul Klee and Georges Rouault. 

In Celebration of Cecil Collins  creates a centenary portrait of the artist, a mosaic in word form, through the reflections and memories of his friends, admirers and students. Occasional pieces are drawn from his essays and formulations about the creative process. Also included are the previously unpublished transcript of a talk he gave at the Tate Gallery, a fairy story written for his god-daughter and his commentary to the film about him The Eye of the Heart as well as his notes for a talk to his students on the classic film Elektra. The vitality of his charismatic presence is recreated through the many people whose lives he affected so profoundly. The influences which shaped Collins’ art and philosophy, are considered, as well as the wider historical and political context.

  • Nomi Rowe

    320 pages, paperback
    285 x 245 mm, over 170 illustrations
    ISBN: 978 1 872468 99 0

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