Lawrence, Sandra (b.1945)

The Pop Art movement of the 60's achieved international acceptance, but historians have drawn a distinction between American and British Pop Art. Many of them have pointed out that the Pop phenomenon was recognizable earlier in Britain than it was in the United States. It certainly had a liberating effect on British artists. Among them was Sandra Lawrence. She translated the American life-style in Britain, which often becomes the British aspect of Americanism in England. Lawrence's work is a documentary of this social transference of culture. She is one of the new lights to emerge from the pop-realist move ment in Britain. Influenced by photo realism in the 70's, her style moved toward romantic realism. The same clarity of technique she demonstrated in her Pop art, Lawrence applied to her still-life series, using less political subject matter. Here, she has reproduced objects to the point where they be come trompe l'oeil. Lawrence's versatility and adventurousness led her to undertake the task of creating the monumental Overlord Tapestry. She was commissioned in 1968 by Lord Dulverton to design and paint full-size cartoons for the Overlord Embroidery. It was commissioned as a permanent memorial to and record of Operation Overlord, the code words for the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944. The embroidery measures 272 feet and is the largest of its kind in the world. It is 33 feet longer than the 11th century Bayeaux Tapestry, which in many ways is the Overlord's medieval counterpart. Given the extremely difficult medium of pastel and its limitations, Sandra Lawrence has transposed her imagery into a strangely ethereal and surreal series of still lifes.

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