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Bibliographical Information
Stan Rosenthal - Approaches to Art
Stan Rosenthal, Shelagh Hourahane
ISBN: 9781843231158 (1843231158)Publication Date November 2002
Publisher: Gwasg Gomer, Llandysul
Format: Hardback, 192 pages Language: English Out of print Our Price: £40.00   
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A celebration of the work of artist Stan Rosenthal, recognised for his bold, dramatic colours inspired by the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastline, comprising 100 colour and 30 black-and- white plates, the artist's comments on individual works and on the theory of art, together with a biographical study by Shelagh Hourahane.

Dathliad o waith yr artist Stan Rosenthal gyda'i liwiau cryf, dramatig a ysbrydolir gan arfordir hardd sir Benfro, yn cynnwys 100 llun lliw a 30 llun du-a-gwyn, sylwadau'r artist am weithiau unigol ac am theori celf, ynghyd ag astudiaeth fywgraffyddol ohono gan Shelagh Hourahane.
Born in London in 1933, Stan Rosenthal lived for many years in Pembrokeshire, making the county’s landscape and seascape the main subject of his painting. For a long while he was unable to paint because of an eye-injury but when he took up his palette again it was with vigour and delight in the bold colours and simple lines for which he is now well-known.

Shelagh Hourahane, who used to lecture in Art at Aberystwyth, has written an excellent account of Rosenthal’s life and discusses it with percipience and sympathy, so that we are introduced to the complexities of what appears, at first sight, to be a fairly straightforward talent.

Peter Finch, who first knew the painter when he lived in Cardiff, is also a fan and has contributed a warm Foreword explaining his admiration for Rosenthal’s work. ‘If you look at enough art then reality can begin to take on some of that art’s shape,’ he writes. ‘A patina of what the painter has seen gets hung across your eyes . . . I’m seeing what Stan sees. I’ve become infected by his work.’

The same may be said of other painters who have been inspired by the landscape of Wales: it’s impossible to see the mountains of Eryri except through the eyes of Kyffin Williams or the Rhondda through Ernie Zobole’s.

Much of this book is taken up with plates showing a selection of Rosenthal’s paintings. If some of them have a poster-like quality, it is because hill, shoreline and building have been reduced to their essence and are presented as part of a child-like vision which brings out their primary colours and innate structure. Reds, yellows and blues predominate, primary and sometimes as if lit up by an internal light, in a landscape shorn of people and almost of human habitation except for a distant cottage or winding road.

Rosenthal is a popular painter in the best sense. The sharing of his art with the widest possible audience is essential to his view of himself as a painter, and so he makes lithographs which are reasonably priced and widely available. I can think of no other contemporary painter in Wales whose work is as accessible as his.

He has been well-served by this book which not only adds a cubit or two to his stature but also opens up a debate about the function of art in modern society and brings to our attention a painter who deserves to be taken more seriously.

Meic Stephens

It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
Further Information:
In this extensive and sumptuously illustrated book, artist Stan Rosenthal offers an insight into his approach to landscape painting. In addition to in-depth studies and stage by stage explanations of how he approached several paintings, there are many preparatory sketches and studies as well as full-colour reproduction of the finished work. Rosenthal writes about his understanding of the creative process in his seminal essay ‘Art as Miracle’ and there is also a specially-commissioned essay by Shelagh Hourahane.
Sales strengths
** Rosenthal collectors and artlovers everywhere will find this book a treasure.
** Full colour reproduction of the highest quality do justice to his artwork.
** This artist has a range of subjects but a particular passion for the landscape of Pembrokeshire is one that many people will find appealing.
** In his foreword to the book Peter Finch writes:
"As a writer I have found explanation, motivation, courage and persistence in Stan’s work as well as wonderful parallels between the literary and visual worlds".
** His enormous following in Wales and beyond will welcome this book.
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