Friday, June 03, 2011

Heath Robinson at Chris Beetle's Gallery

There is a new exhibition of the work of William Heath Robinson at the Chris Beetles Gallery. I haven't been yet, but I have a copy of the catalogue and can recommend it. Of course, there is a large contingent of nonsense machines and so on, but my fascination with WHB has always been in his slightly earlier black and white work. I honestly don't think that there is any better turn of the last century exponent of black and white illustration. He is the master of the use of solid black and of the balancing of extremes in one image.

Highlights, for me, from the catalogue therefore are the many images from his illustrations of Rabelais, also of Kipling's The Song of the English. I am also enthralled in a booky kind of way by the pen and ink design for the title page of his illustrated version of Hans Andersen, published by Constable in 1913, not least for the fact that all the lettering on the title page is done by WHB's own hand.

The catalogue is online but is also available in book form from the gallery.

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