Alan Cotton – Giving Life a Shape || Jenny Pery

This is something more than just, “A few of the artist’s paintings and a bit about them”. Jenny Pery is an experienced writer and she has woven a neat and intriguing account of Alan Cotton’s life as he prepares for his latest exhibition. In many ways, it could be said to be a documentary in book form and the approach works supremely well.

If you haven’t come across Alan Cotton before, although comparisons are nasty things, I’d say that, if you like the work of John Piper and Kyffin Williams you’ll feel at home here. At 176 pages, this is a substantial tome and the extended text doesn’t detract from the number of illustrations, which feature landscapes from Snowdonia to Cyprus and Devon to Provence.

As a feature on an artist’s work in progress, this is hard to beat and the illustrations are, without exception, well handled. As a documentary, it’s an innovative approach that brings both the man and his work to life in a way that couldn’t be achieved by concentrating on only a single aspect.

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