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  • Published: 26 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9781787333376
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $65.00

Letters to Gwen John



A unique combination of memoir and artistic biography, interspersed with original artworks, from the acclaimed artist and author of SELF-PORTRAIT.

A unique combination of memoir and artistic biography, interspersed with original artworks, from the acclaimed artist and author of SELF-PORTRAIT.

We are both painters. We can connect to each other through images, in our own unvoiced language. But I will try and reach you with words. Through talking to you I may come alive and begin to speak.

Celia Paul has felt a lifelong connection to the artist Gwen John. There are extraordinary parallels in their lives and work. Both have always made art on their own terms. Both were involved with older male artists. Both worked hard to keep themselves and the sacred flame of their creativity from being extinguished by others.

Letters to Gwen John is Paul's imagined correspondence with Gwen John, whose life and work have loomed so large in hers. These intimate, passionate, haunting letters allow Paul to reach across eras, to weigh up the sacrifices she has made, and to explore the rich possibilities of a life apart. With illuminating insights into the life and work of Gwen John, Letters to Gwen John is a unique form of memoir and conversation, and an unforgettable insight into a life devoted to making art.

  • Published: 26 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9781787333376
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $65.00

About the author

Celia Paul

Celia Paul is recognised as one of the most important painters working in Britain today. She was born in India in 1959, before moving to England as a young child. Her major solo exhibitions include Celia Paul, curated by Hilton Als, at Yale Center for British Art (2018) and The Huntington (2019); Desdemona for Celia by Hilton, Gallery Met, New York (2015–16); and Gwen John and Celia Paul, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (2012–13). Her work was included in the group exhibition All Too Human at Tate Britain (2018), and is in many collections, including the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Saatchi Collection and Metropolitan Museum, New York.

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