London A La Mode
Paul Hogarth and Malcolm Muggeridge
Studio Vista, London, 1966
Artist Paul Hogarth was a descendent of William Hogarth, well known chronicler of 18th century London's high and low life, and inherited his predecessor's skill at capturing the people of the capital at work and at play. His drawings possess a swiftness, capturing a moment or a face in the crowd before it slips away into the hubbub of Swinging London.
He teams up with Malcolm Muggeridge, the recognizable Catholic curmudgeon from the infamous BBC 'debate' on Monty Python's Life of Brian, though previously a bit of a lefty and former British spy, who here supplies a dry and detached text, occasionally satirical and with some interesting observations of the bustling metropolitan life.
Hogarth is perhaps best known for his designs on a long run of Penguin Shakespeare paperbacks, where his inky lines have a distinct character. Here he uses mostly pencil, reminiscent of some of Geoffrey Fletcher's London sketches, gathering some familiar places and faces (The Colony Room's Muriel Belcher, the Ace Cafe) with some more unusual angles and social commentary, somewhere between an art student's reportage sketchbook and a child's drawing. I challenge anyone not to be caught up in the lines and energy.
|This is Modsville: note top Mod band The Action listed on the poster|