Here’s a hell of a painting by Paul Nash. The Mule Track (1918) Nash fought on the Western front and this painting shows it.
The Ypres Salient by Night. 1918
I just ran across the Paul Nash show at the Dulwich Picture Gallery and it reminded me that I wanted to mention him in connection to Ed Burra. Nash is another estimable painter. He had a great influence on Burra, who was first introduced to the work of George Grosz through magazines supplied him by Nash.
Here’s a link to the Dulwich show.
Don’t click on the Director’s video unless you’re up for one of the most ridiculous lectures you’d ever want to hear comparing Poussin’s paintings to those of Cy Twombly… with Twombly and Poussin paintings hung side by side.
Let’s get real.
It’s interesting to contrast the restraint used by Nash in depicting the horror of the trenches to an artist like Otto Dix, who is depicting the same kind of battlefield but from the German side. Dix gives us the direct horror and brutality visited on the human beings fighting, whereas Nash is almost sublimating the figures into the landscape
In the Ypres painting I can’t help but think of a Caligari-esque German Expressionist set. The angular warping of space without rhyme or reason–a dead landscape.