Trevor Winkfield: Shelf Life

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Barry Schwabsky reviews two new books by painter Trevor Winkfield: How I Became a Painter: Trevor Winkfield in Conversation With Miles Champion (Pressed Wafer) and George Braque and Others: The Selected Art Writings of Trevor Winkfield (The Song Cave).

Schwabsky notes that "among the pleasures of his new collection of criticism, George Braque and Others… is the fact that he treats his subjects—whether it’s a certified madman like the nineteenth-century fairy painter Richard Dadd, a marginal master like the seventeenth-century still-life painter Lubin Baugin, a deeply unfashionable figure like Graham Sutherland, or canonical artists like Vermeer and Chardin—with the same mixture of irony and respect. In fact, the irony is part and parcel of the respect, because Winkfield—a connoisseur of 'all things counter, original, spare, strange' (as Gerard Manley Hopkins put it)—assumes that everything worth doing in art evolves from some fundamental eccentricity, what he once called 'radical daftness.' Treating it with solemnity would only spoil it."

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