Elsa Vaudrey


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Mel Gooding, Lucy Inglis


• Lavishly illustrated with previously unpublished personal photographs and paintings.
• Considers for the first time both her earlier figurative and later abstract works.
• Will appeal to people interested in twentieth century British art and the wider context within which it was produced.


This is the first monograph on the Scottish-born artist Elsa Vaudrey (1905-1990), whose 60-year career began in the 1920s when she was a student at the Glasgow School of Art. Perhaps best known for her atmospheric abstract paintings, which she executed from the late 1950s onwards, she also produced a large body of figurative work, mainly still lifes and landscapes, most of which have never before been seen. This lavishly illustrated book brings together both stages of her artistic journey for the first time.

Although informed by an understanding of the Glasgow School, Fauvism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism, Elsa Vaudrey’s vision was highly personal and she developed an expressive and vibrant style entirely her own. Her paintings were often a response to her immediate surroundings, to places such as Wookey Hole in Somerset (where she lived with her husband, the artist Peter Barker-Mill), Chelsea in London, the Welsh countryside and, further afield, Rome, Paris, Antibes and Jerusalem. During her lifetime, she exhibited widely both in Britain and abroad, most notably in a series of solo shows at the Redfern Gallery in London.

Much of the book was informed by the artist’s own papers, collected together in the Elsa Vaudrey archive, which chart key moments in her personal and professional life and document her friendships with figures such as John Cowper Powys, Mary Quant, Ceri Richards, Eduardo Paolozzi and Erica Brausen.

Reproduced also is a personal reflection on the artist written by her friend, the author Raleigh Trevelyan.


About the authors

Mel Gooding is a London-based art critic and curator who has written and edited a number of volumes, including exhibition catalogues that feature the work of artists such as Ceri Richards, Michael Upton, John Hoyland, Frank Bowling, Bruce McLean, Mary Fedden, Gillian Ayres, sculptor F. E. McWilliam, and architect William Alsop, as well as books of general art criticism and other works.

Lucy Inglis is an independent art historian with a special interest in twentieth century British art. A postgraduate of the Courtauld Institute of Art, her doctoral thesis explored the themes of nationalism and internationalism in the work of Paris and London based artists in the 1930s. She is the associate editor of the William Scott Catalogue Raisonné of Oil Paintings (ISBN 978-0500970416)


260 x 260mm
full colour
ISBN: 978-1-911408-07-9