5.09.2023 - 31.12.2023 Events, Literature, Visual arts

Book Release: An art book about Polish-Jewish artist Dante Elsner

A facinating new art book looking at a forgotten artist by his granddaughter and including images of hundreds of the artist's works.

Written by the artist’s granddaughter Maia Elsner, a new hardback art book, ‘Dante Elsner’ by Guillemot Press, introduces readers to the life and work of the extraordinary Polish-Jewish painter and ceramicist (1920-97).

As a young man, Dante Elsner escaped concentration camps and death marches in Nazi-occupied Poland while his whole family were killed. He ran away into the forests, eating grass to survive in hiding. Soon after the war Dante left Poland to live the life of an artist in Paris, where he became a follower of mystic philosopher Gurdjieff’s work, and then to London

Dante was an uncompromising artist and the work is fascinating in both process and execution. He left behind some 2,000 pots and a great many paintings and sketchbooks. 

In this extraordinary account, Dante’s granddaughter, the poet Maia Elsner, pieces together the artist’s life from interviews with him, his widow and family, as well as uncovering thousands of stunning raku pots and an incredible archive of paintings, drawings and sketches.

Dante’s distrust of the art world has led to his work going largely unnoticed. That is changing now. Dante Elsner is a beautiful and timely appraisal of this exceptional artist featuring hundreds of full colour images of the artwork and ceramics.

It includes images of over a hundred paintings and drawings and more than two hundred of Dante’s ceramics.

Author Maia Elsner will be appearing at a number of events across the UK over the coming weeks and months, in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Oxford, with talks, readings and gallery exhibitions of Dante’s work.

Guillemot Press will be posting details of all events on their social media channels soon or you can get in touch with them if you would like more information.  

This spectacular book is a beautiful and haunting meditation on life, trauma, and art. Written with sensitivity and grace, Maia Elsner offers a stunning tribute to a grandfather’s legacy, showing how stories travel from generation to generation, carrying the light of hope even in the darkest of times.

Ruth Behar, author of Letters from Cuba

Maia Elsner is a Mexican-Polish-Jewish-British writer whose debut collection Overrun by Wild Boars (Flipped Eye, 2021) won a Somerset Maugham Award. She is currently a Zell Fellow at the Helen Zell Writer’s Program in Michigan, where her writing has won the Hopwood Award for non-fiction.

To get hold of your own copy of Dante Elsner and find out about a fascinating forgotten artist, visit: NON-FICTION — Guillemot Press

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