Sonia Lawson: Passions and Alarms


Out of stock


260 x 260mm
ISBN 978-1-908326-62-1

Sonia Lawson is an artist whose work constantly resonates with  the new,  her images transforming a commonplace activity into an epic event.

Born in the Yorkshire Dales into a family where both her mother and   father were well respected painters, Lawson has developed her own  idiom in paint, yet has never been afraid to embrace new forms and  ciphers for her work.
This much-needed monograph traces her very personal style from the  semi-abstract early paintings, moving into her vision of  artist as witness: a darker period recording injustices on canvas.    From this sombre palette she turned to raw pigments and a personal   mythology, with rosy sculptural images of warmth and light. Currently  she has returned to a form of abstraction whereby her work is  ‘compressionism’ (her term), compacting the canvas with colour and  meaning. Layers of paint can be read as abstracts, yet these surfaces  are inscribed and scored with denizens to reveal a figurative  dimension. She says ‘the result should be a “compression” like  vegetation becoming coal, a tough, simple parcel packed with pent-up energy.’

Lawson’s recent work is a sort of Rosetta Stone, at times intriguingly  arcane and inscribed with living, jostling beings, depicting the  elemental. It is a rich tapestry and with a sense of the absolute, of  something writ in stone which lends a positive determinism to the ongoing journey.

This monograph simultaneously traces Sonia Lawson’s academic and  personal history, illuminating her outlook and her dramatic and diverse  oeuvre.

Nicholas Usherwood
 is a curator, art critic and writer on contemporary  art and culture. He has written for publications including The  GuardianThe Times, The Daily TelegraphThe Sunday TimesArts  Review and Resurgence and has been Features Editor of Galleries  magazine since 1998. His several books include, for Sansom & Company, a monograph on the artist Evelyn Williams.