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New book by Ruskin DPhil graduate, Saul Nelson

Saul Nelson, who completed his DPhil in the history & theory of art at the Ruskin School of Art in 2022, has published his first book: Never Ending: Modernist Painting Past and Future (Yale University Press, 2024).

Never Ending: Modernist Painting Past and Future, a new book by Saul Nelson.

The book offers a new history of postwar painting that explores how the desire to look backward shaped some of the period’s most radical artmaking. This incisive account of modernism’s postwar development examines how painters, such as Joan Mitchell, Barnett Newman, and Rose Piper, invoked tradition in order to respond to, participate in, and disrupt the histories of the movement being written at midcentury. Saul Nelson argues that artists’ turn to the past, often dismissed as regressive, offers an important counternarrative to the notion of modernism as always pushing forward. To be a modernist, Nelson contends, was to live in doubt—about which aspects of the past were still needed and how they might be put to new use.

Saul is currently a Junior Research Fellow in History of Art at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge: www.hoart.cam.ac.uk/staff/dr-saul-nelson.