Nov 28 2014 NEW BOOK Nicholas Usherwood "Sonia Lawson: Passions and Alarms" - Open a 'pdf' of this press release - return to Galleries PR Index

Sonia Lawson: Passions and Alarms

Nicholas Usherwood

260 x 260mm



ISBN 978-1-908326-62-1


Publication 28 November 2014


Sonia Lawson RA, RWA 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 Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday

Times, Arts 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.

Trade orders: Orca Book Services

T: +44 (0)1235 465500


Postal orders: 160 Milton Park, Abingdon, OX14

Sansom & Co Ltd ▪ 81g Pembroke Road ▪ Clifton ▪ Bristol BS8 3EA

For further information, images, author interviews,

review copies: Paul Deaton

T: 07867 555690