Matthew Carr

A year ago I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. I attribute my recovery and survival, in part at least, to a grim determination not to predecease my father Raymond Carr. He is 90 and I suspect that, likewise, his ongoing existence is inspired to some degree by his own determination, conscious or otherwise, to outlive at least one of his children. Nothing like a bit of competition in the family.

Most of the work reproduced on these two pages formed part of my last show, which included twenty or so drawings of literary types: agents, publishers and of course writers. Not wanting to be caught out, I am now admirably well-read. Tom Stoppard was the first writer on my list. When I stupidly cold-called him much too early in the day he quite rightly told me to f*** off. Subsequently, I wrote to all my victims. Stoppard relented and we bonded over Alexander Herzen. He proved to be the most understanding and conscientious of models.

My studio, today, is full of naked persons and my next show should be dominated by a series of completely overpowering nudes.

All of the above are conté pencil on prepared charcoal paper, 2008, except where noted. Images © the artist/Marlborough Gallery 

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens
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