- Exhibitions - Public
The catalogues of the 1979 Swansea and 1992 Penwith
exhibitions probably provide the best range of images and biographical
in book form at present. There are digital copies of both available
on this site and the estate has limited copies of both available
Gallery and auction house websites are also a good source of information
about Denis and his work and can provide an interesting and, in some
cases, imaginative insight into the workings of the artist's mind.
There is also quite a lot in print. The list below is not exhaustive
and we would love to hear of other books that give Denis a mention. As
you will see it is not just about Denis either. To appreciate an
artist it is important to have an appreciation of the artists they
rubbed shoulders with and the environment they worked in.
After Trewyn, St Ives Sculptors since Hepworth by Peter Davies. Old
Bakehouse Publications. 2001 ISBN 1 874538 24 7. Five sculptors who
worked for Barbara Hepworth are included in this work, Denis
being the first to be examed. It offers a perspective and opinion
author who has written a number of works on the Cornish art scene.
Britain's Art Colony by the Sea by Denys Val Baker. George Ronald.
1959. Possibly the first book to describe the emerging art colony
in St Ives. Derided by later authors who have taken a more critical
approach, the book is a personal view and appraisal of the community.
Contemporary British Art by Herbert Read. Penguin Books. 1964 (Revision
of 1951 edition). As Denis noted the book covered 23 sculptors
and 72 painters. From the number of notations and comments in
the borders he clearly did not agree with everything that Herbert
Read had to say about art. However, it was a signifcant early mention
in print for Denis and an illustration of the bronze 'Porthcressa'
Denis Mitchell, Ascending Forms. Forward by Susan Daniel-McElroy,
text by Sara Hughes. Tate Publications, 2005. ISBN 1 85437 593 8.
Sadly out of print, although readily available second hand this little
book has wonderful illustrations and a thoughtful extended essay
by Sara Hughes, which is well worth reading.
Eighty from the Eighties, the Peninsula Voice interviews with portrait
photographs by Ashley Peters. Rainyday Publications. 1993. ISBN 0
9506263 1 7. 80 interviews with creative people living or working
in West Cornwall during the 1980s as published in the magazine Peninsula
Voice. A thoroughly interesting book with lots of interesting characters.
Sue Monro's interview of Denis (November 1985) doesn't just cover
the same familiar ground and is well worth a read.
Gasworks to Gallery, the story of Tate St Ives by Janet Axten. Axten
Orchard. 1995. ISBN 0 9524770 0 9. Sadly Denis died shortly before
the gallery opened in June 1993. A supported of the project in spirit,
he would have enjoyed seeing his work on open display. An interesting
history of the project.
Marjorie Parr, Chelsea and St Ives Art Dealer by Peter Davis. Old
Bakehouse Publications, 2008. ISBN 978 1 905967 17 9. There are extensive
references to Denis in this work and it is useful in portraying the
relationship and interdependence of an artist and their dealer.
Modern Painters, a Quarterly Journal of the Fine Arts. Spring 1993. ISSN
0953 6698. Whilst just an article in a magazine, in addition to reviewing
his show at Flowers East in 1993, it is one of the last interviews given
by Denis. Linda Saunders has included more about his thinking and working
process than a number of other authors ever achieved. If you can find a
copy of this magazine it is well worth reading.
Modern Sculpture by Herbert Read. Thames and Hudson. 1994. ISBN 0 500 20014
9. Herbert Read's review of contemporary world sculpture was first published
in 1964. In the context of Denis the work is relevant for including
an image of 'Gew'.
Open Air Sculpture in Britain by W.J.Strachan.
Zwemmer in association with Tate Gallery Publications. 1984. ISBN 0 302
02749 1. To all intents and purposes a catalogue of sculpture on public
display in the United Kingdom in 1984, it would be interesting to see how
many of these works are still in place today. Two of Denis's works are
featured, 'Piran' at Battersea Teachers Training College and 'Gemini' at
Churchill College, Cambridge. 'Gemini' is still in place, but we have had
no confirmation as to the whereabouts of Piran.
Painting the warmth of the sun, St Ives artists 1939-1975 by Tom Cross.
Lutterworth Press. 1984. ISBN 0 7188 2614 0. This book was written in conjunction
with Television South West who produced a series of films on the artists
and their work, sadly not currently available. Another perspective on the
period and the artists with slightly less emphasis on Ben Nicolson and
Barbara Hepworth. An enjoyable read. If anyone has a copy of the television
programme I would love to see it.
Portrait of the Artist, 25 years of British Art by Jorge Lewinski. Carcanet
Press. 1987. ISBN 0 85635 722 7. 75 artists profiled by this Polish born
St Ives, 1939-64. Twenty Five Years of Painting, Sculpture and Pottery.
Tate Gallery Publications. 1985. ISBN 0 946590 20 6. The catalogue of
the same named exhibition at the Tate Gallery, London 13th February
April 1985. Very much a reflection of the exhibition itself, this publication
is rather flawed in places, but is essential in gaining an understanding
of St Ives at a time when many considered it to be one of the most important
centres of art in the world. Two works by Denis were included in the
St Ives, 1883-1993. Portrait of an Art Colony by Marion Whybrow. Antique
Collectors Club. 1994. ISBN 1 85149 170 8. The book takes a wider timescale
in exploring the history of art in St Ives. This is a well written book.
St Ives Revisited - innovators and followers by Peter Davies. Old Bakehouse
Publications. 1994. ISBN 1 874538 05 0. A fairer and more constructive
analysis of the St Ives art scene than some of his other books, Peter
provides a readable account of art in St Ives.
Tate St Ives, an illustrated companion by Michael
Toobey. Tate Gallery Publications. 1993. ISBN 1 85437 118 5. As much
a celebration of the Tate Gallery's interests in St Ives as well as
history of art in St Ives, the book has well written articles and high
quality images. The brief article on Denis and 'Turning Form' places
his work and his own impact on the history of the period in its proper