Paul Nash and the Landscape of Mystery

Colin Pink

Wednesday 15th September 2021

Paul Nash and the Landscape of Mystery

Paul Nash is one of the most important British modernist artists. He is often associated with art movements such as Neo-Romanticism and Surrealism but his work remains hard to categorise. He worked as a war artist in both the First and Second World Wars and forged his own distinctive approach to landscape.

His work makes the homely uncanny and though he depicts specific places they inhabit an imaginative realm that reveals a mystical relationship to the world. Nash is a poet of the visual who creates his own world of symbols that is both natural and unnatural, a landscape of mystery that reveals, in the words of Coleridge: ‘the translucence of the eternal in and through the temporal’.


            Paul Nash, Landscape at Iden , 1928, Tate (N05047), digital image © Tate released under Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND (3.0 Unported)


Colin Pink has a BA in Philosophy and Politics from the University of Southampton and a MA in the History of Art from Birkbeck, University of London. He specialises in the interrelationship between the history of ideas and the history of art and has lectured on aspects of modern art at a wide range of cultural organisations: Putney School of Art and Design; the Temenos Academy; APT Studios; Mascalls Gallery; the Museum of Futures, Surbiton; the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings and the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea. He also curates exhibitions and has published two books of poetry: Acrobats of Sound, 2016 and The Ventriloquist Dummy’s Lament, 2019.