Born OTD in 1898, M. C. Escher. Escher was a Dutch graphic artist who made mathematically-inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. Despite wide popular interest, Escher was for long somewhat neglected in the art world, even in his native Netherlands. He was 70 before a retrospective exhibition was held. In the twenty-first century, he became more widely appreciated, with exhibitions across the world.

His lithograph Magic Mirror dates as far back as 1946. By taking such a title for the book, mathematician Bruno … More

Book talk next Tuesday (21st May), at PM Bookshop, 6pm, with art historian, Christine Lindey. £3 tickets in advance (redeemable against purchase of book). ‘Art for All’ reveals a forgotten or marginalised area of 20th century British art. Christine Lindey delves into the fascinating treasure trove of British socially-committed art from the 30s through to the Cold War, and of which most people will be unaware. She demonstrates that the work of these artists deserves to be rediscovered and enjoyed.

In her lavishly-illustrated volume, she also examines the circumstances that turned these individuals into socially committed artists, often swimming against … More

Born OTD in 1904, prominent Spanish surrealist born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, Salvador Dalí. Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. Genius, eccentric, exhibitionist: there is no shortage of adjectives to describe the great surrealist painter Salvador Dali. Yet this iconic artist & controversial thinker remains a figure shrouded in mystery. Plunging into the Spanish painter’s unbridled, fantastical universe, graphic novelist Edmond Baudoin guides us on the trail of a man known as much for his talent for self-promotion as for his bold and extraordinary work.

He emerges with a convincing personal vision of the man behind the artist. Commissioned by the Pompidou Centre, Paris, Dali … More

Born OTD in 1942, English film director, stage designer, diarist, artist, gardener, and author, Derek Jarman. During the 1980s, Jarman was a leading campaigner against Clause 28, which sought to ban the “promotion” of homosexuality in schools. He also worked to raise awareness of AIDS. Jarman is also remembered for his famous shingle cottage-garden, created in the latter years of his life, in the shadow of Dungeness nuclear power station.

While some perished beneath wind and sea-spray others flourished, creating brilliant, unexpected beauty in the wilderness. Modern Nature is both … More

In this brilliant collection of diverse works essays, short stories, poems, translations which spans a lifetime’s engagement with art, Berger reveals how he came to his own unique way of seeing. He challenges readers to rethink their every assumption about the role of creativity in our lives. Paying homage to the writers & thinkers who influenced him, he pushes at the limits of art writing, demonstrating beautifully how his artist’s eye makes him a storyteller, rather than a critic.

His expansive perspective takes in artistic movements and individual artists from the Renaissance to the present while never neglecting the … More

For the past 4 decades, independent postcard press Leeds Postcards has been making oppositional, inspiring images; activism by design. The cards are not of Leeds; the name represents a defiant rejection of the hegemony of London. The images cover a fascinating range of domestic and international politics, causes & campaigns, creating, in their own unique & graphically inventive way. Frequently funny, & consistently inventive, over 100 cards – from Thatcher to the EU Referendum – tell the story of the struggles as well as the progressive political triumphs from 1979 to the present day.

These postcards have crystallised the cultural zeitgeist to be displayed, sent, kept, and shared. Over the years they have featured … More

Frida is the story of one of the 20th century’s most extraordinary women, the painter Frida Kahlo. Born near Mexico City, she grew up during the turbulent days of the Mexican Revolution &, at 18, was the victim of an accident that left her crippled & unable to bear children. To salvage what she could from her unhappy situation, Kahlo had to learn to keep still – so she began to paint.

Kahlo’s unique talent was to make her one of the century’s most enduring artists. But her remarkable paintings were only … More