Katharine George


A Retrospective on The London Magazine’s Cover Art

 

Antonia Showering, ‘Nothing to hold onto’, cover of the February/ March 2021 issue

Antonia Showering is a British artist best known for her vibrant depictions of family members often situated in landscape settings. Her artwork, often ambiguous in its content, possesses an almost timeless quality that borders both the abstract and the allegorical. ‘Nothing to hold onto’, the piece used for the cover of the London Magazine’s February/ March issue in 2021 features four almost ghost-like figures against a background of mountains and trees, washed in warm hues of orange and red. The piece appropriately seemed to mirror a hesitant reintroduction to togetherness and community after the waves of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Harriet Gillet, ‘it’ll be alright in the morning’, cover of the October/ November 2021 issue

London based painter Harriet Gillet uses her work to explore themes of identity, surveillance and relationship through mythology and nature. Gillet draws inspiration from a multitude of resources, including literature, art history and animals. The resulting pieces provide a blending of past, present and the imaginary in a characteristically playful fashion. Gillet’s work simultaneously touches upon reality and takes on a dream-like status through her refusal to conform solely to one genre. Gillet herself describes her style as “narrative, fluid and psychological”, marking her work as a celebration of nuance and the beauty of the uncategorised.

 

 

Stanley Cursiter, ‘Rain on Princes Street, Edinburgh’, cover of the February/ March 2004 issue

Stanley Cursiter was one of Scotland’s most prolific twentieth century painters. Cursiter is credited with playing a significant role in introducing post- impressionism and futurism to Scotland. His fascination with the futurist movement led Cursiter to incorporate their methods for representing movement into his work, encapsulated in his piece ‘Rain on Prince’s Street’, used for the London Magazine’s cover of the February/ March issue in 2004. ‘Rain on Prince’s Street’ is a lively experimentation in modernism that captures the animation and movement of the iconic shopping street in Edinburgh.

 

 

Conroy Maddox ‘The Theorist’, cover of the November 1984 issue

Conroy Maddox was a founding member of the Surrealist Art Movement in Birmingham, believing the movement to hold revolutionary potential in artistic spheres. Maddox became a central figure for the ‘Birmingham surrealists’ in promoting the creation of strange, perplexing works that encapsulate dream-like scenes. Maddox’s piece ‘The Theorist’, printed in monochrome upon the cover of the London Magazine’s November issue in 1984, draws upon surrealist fascination with Sigmund Freud’s ideas on psychoanalysis and its ability to inspire both fear and desire within art. The piece, like much of Maddox’s work, rejects the rational to stimulate imagination and intuition, aligning with the artist’s refusal to explain his works. The result is a forceful prompt for the viewer to come to grips with the piece on an appropriately psychosomatic, individual basis.

 

 

Edward Burra, ‘ Izzy Orts’, cover of the October 1985 issue

Edward Burra was an english painter best known for his depictions of the urban society, black culture and the 1930s Harlem scene. By the mid-20s, Burra had established a distinctive style featuring sordid subjects depicted in colourful detail. His piece, ‘Izzy Orts’, used by the London Magazine for its cover in October 1985, epitomises Burra’s style and typifies his content. The painting is a vibrant watercolour piece depicting ‘Izzy Orts’, a Boston bar and grille opened in 1935 that became renowned for its live music and jazz performances.

 

 

Katharine George is an undergraduate student at the University of St Andrews currently studying Modern History and English literature. Areas of particular interest in her academic studies have included eighteenth and nineteenth century literature, the role of murder and the macabre as a form of Victorian entertainment and the development of British political theatre. She currently writes for Her Campus.


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