Derek Jarman

New monograph on Derek Jarman, due Autumn 2023.

Gathering together newly commissioned essays by international art critics and scholars devoted to specific—and sometimes lesser-known—aspects of the artist’s life and work and extensive portfolios spanning his successive bodies of works, this monograph offers an accessible overview of Derek Jarman, one of the legendary cultural figures of the second half of the 20th century.

Born in London in 1942, Jarman died in 1994, after having been an artist, filmmaker, musician, and gay activist who powerfully marked contemporary British culture, from his first feature film ‘Sebastiane’ in 1976 to the video clips made for the Pet Shop Boys and Marianne Faithfull in the 1980s, through his public militancy during the AIDS crisis and his testamentary cult film ‘Blue’ (1993).

Conceived as a reader, this volume includes essays by cultural critic Elisabeth Lebovici, Le Crédac Director and Curator Claire Le Restif, garden historian Marco Martella, a comprehensive interview with Jarman’s collaborator James Mackay, as well as testimonies by, among others, actress Tilda Swinton and musician Simon Fisher Turner, and an illustrated chronology.

His militant “Queer Paintings” series (1992), his tender Super8 films from the mid-1970s, his emotional assemblages made at Prospect Cottage (Dungeness, Kent) whose cultivation was both a form of therapy and a metaphor for his own survival after he was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986, are considered together to focus on Jarman as a visual artist—a painter and an assemblagist—and how his artistic practice can be understood as a catalyst for his manifold activities and visions.

Published in collaboration with Le Crédac, Ivry-sur-Seine, France, on the occasion of its exhibition ‘Dead Souls Whisper (1986-1993): Derek Jarman’ organized in 2021.

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