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Featuring a formidable list of writers, and encapsulating the eclectic range of art that has delighted and inspired audiences throughout Hayward Gallery's history, Fifty Years of Great Art Writing ranges from painting and photography to sculpture, choreography and architecture, and takes in a huge diversity of subjects, from Paul Klee to the art of the Harlem Renaissance, from David Shrigley's drawings to David Hockney's photographs, from Francis Bacon's take on the human body to Africa Remix, from Pipilotti Rist's installations to Afro-Asian artists in postwar Britain. With intriguing combinations and connections between artists and writers, the book presents seminal essays that will appeal to art enthusiasts and students alike. Texts include Leon Kossoff on Frank Auerbach, Ali Smith on Tracey Emin, Dore Ashton on Agnes Martin, Will Self on George Condo, Geoff Dyer on Dayanita Singh, Adrian Forty on Le Corbusier and Stuart Hall on Jeremy Deller.

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David Sylvester

Anthony David Bernard Sylvester CBE, (21 September 1924; London ?? 19 June 2001; London) was a British art critic and curator. During a long career David Sylvester was influential in promoting modern art in Britain, in particular the work of Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon. Born into a well connected north-London Jewish family, Sylvester had trouble as a student at University College School and was thrown out of the family home. He wrote for the paper Tribune and went to Paris in 1947 where he met Alberto Giacometti one of the strongest influences on him. Though writing for a range of publications as a critic including The Observer and New Statesman the main thrust of his writing that direct response to the artwork was most important remained constant. Sylvester is credited with coining the term kitchen sink originally to describe a strand of post-war British painting typified by John Bratby. Sylvester used the phrase negatively but it was widely applied to other art forms including literature and theatre. During the 1950s Sylvester worked with Henry Moore, Freud and Bacon but also supported Richard Hamilton and the other 'Young Turks' of British pop art. This led him to become a prominent media figure in the 1960s. During the 1960s and 70s Sylvester occupied a number of roles at the Arts Council of Great Britain serving on advisory panels and on the main panel. In 1969 he curated a Renoir exhibition at the Hayward Gallery for which he was assisted by a young Nicholas Serota.

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