The first biography of sculptor Oscar Nemon (1906–1985), the unknown artist behind some of Britain’s most iconic statues.
Kings, Queens, Premiers and Presidents, Oscar Nemon’s list of sitters is a cross-section of modern history. His sculptures of Winston Churchill and Sigmund Freud, in particular, ensure that his work has been seen by millions around the world. Despite this, little is known about the man. In Finding Nemon, Aurelia Young, daughter of Nemon, reveals the fascinating stories behind his artistic and personal encounters: how the Queen came to know him as the 'missing Oscar'; how Nemon became the subject of Churchill's only attempt at sculpture; Young chronicles her father's life from his humble origins in a small town in modern-day Croatia, to his refuge in Britain from Nazism and the life he made for himself in Boars Hill, Oxford. The result is an intimate portrait of an artist, husband and father.
Finding Nemon, the first biography of Oscar Nemon to appear in English, richly illustrated and beautifully presented, finally brings the sculptor out from the shadow of his work.
‘I greatly admire the art of Mr Oscar Nemon, whose prowess in the ancient classical realm of sculpture has won such remarkable appreciation in our country.’ – Winston Churchill
'What mattered to him was to find the complex nature of the 'anima' of his sitters, the secrets of their inner selves, and intimations of their destinies, and then to make the inner image, as it were, shape the visible outlines of the portrait. For Nemon, Winston Churchill symbolized greatness of character as a bulwark against inhumanity - this was the mainspring of Nemon's message, as expressed in the numerous busts and statues of Churchill now in many lands. The long span of his life was immensely rich in vicissitudes, experiences, adventures, wanderings, mysteries and revelations. In his sphere he was supreme and his work has a secure place for all time.’ – Albi Rosenthal
AURELIA YOUNG (Lady Young, b. 1943) is the daughter of Oscar Nemon. She grew up wandering in and out of her father’s studios at the family home in Oxford and later in London. Since his death in 1985, she has been researching her father’s life and gives talks about his life and work in the USA, Paris, Brussels, Israel and across the UK. She married George Young in 1964, an MP for forty-one years and now Lord Young of Cookham.
JULIAN HALE is a journalist and author of several works of fiction and non-fiction. Between 1968 and 1973 he was a BBC World Service producer, script writer and programme organiser of the Romanian and Italian services, and between 1978 and 2000 a documentary and features producer for Radios 3 and 4 .
|Date Published||September 2018|