This Dark Country : Women Artists, Still Life and Intimacy in the Early Twentieth Century

Shortlisted for the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize 2022Longlisted for the William M B Berger Prize for British Art History 2022**Picked as an Art Book of the Year 2021 by the Guardian**’As seductive as it is scholarly … Riveting’ Financial Times’A bold, unusual book, filled with archival research, exuberant ideas and a determination to counter misogyny’ Diana Souhami, RA Magazine——————————Lemons gleam in a bowl. Flowers fan out softly in a vase. A door swings open in a sparsely furnished room. What is contained in a still life – and what falls out of the frame?What is contained in a still life – and what falls out of the frame? For women artists in the early twentieth century, such as Dora Carrington, Vanessa Bell and Gwen John, this art form was a conduit for their lives, their rebellions, their quietly subversive loves for men and women. But for every artist whom we remember, there are those whose work is almost forgotten. In This Dark Country, Rebecca Birrell conducts a dazzling fusion of group biography and art criticism, exploring, from the celebrated to the overlooked, the structures of intimacy that make – and dismantle – our worlds. ‘A brilliant book … A truly radical aesthetics fit for the twenty-first century at last!’ – Therese Oulton'[A] wonderful book. I am impressed and fascinated. It is beautifully written’ – Celia Paul