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Andrews Armitage Auerbach Bevan Caro Collins Coper Coventry Davie Gaudier-Brzeska Hepworth Heron Hockney Hodgkin Jones Kitaj Kossoff Moore Nicholson Pasmore Perry Piper Riley Smith Spencer Turnbull


Cecil Collins 1908–1989 The Voice, 1938 oil on board 48 by 60 inches / 121.9 by 152.4 cm signed and dated lower right, inscribed with the artist’s address and labels verso giving the alternative titles ‘The Planetary Spirit’ and ‘The Oracle’ Collections The Artist Carroll Donner, USA Santa Barbara Museum, USA Mr and Mrs Thomas E. Worrell Jnr Private Collection, New York, acquired 1988 Private Collection, UK Exhibited London, Leicester Galleries, Eliot Hodgkin, Terry Frost and Cecil Collins, February 1956, cat no.13 London, Whitechapel Gallery, Cecil Collins: A Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Tapestries from 1928–1959, November–December 1959, cat no.16 Cardiff, National Museum of Wales, British Art and the Modern Movement 1930–40, October–November 1962, cat no.102 London, Hamet Galleries, Britain’s Contribution to Surrealism of the 30’s and 40’s, November 1971, cat no.26 London, Barbican Art Gallery, A Paradise Lost, The Neo-Romantic Imagination in Britain 1935–55, 21 May–19 July 1987, cat no.46 London, Royal College of Art, Exhibition Road Painters at the Royal College of Art, March–April 1988, cat no.41, illus p19 London, Tate Gallery, Cecil Collins, A Retrospective Exhibition, 10 May–9 July 1989, cat no.13, pp18, 79–80, illus b/w p79 Literature Kathleen Raine, ‘Cecil Collins, A Platonic Painter’, The Painter and Sculptor, A Journal of the Visual Arts, Vol.1, No.1, Spring 1958, illus b/w, p25 William Anderson, Cecil Collins: The Quest for the Great Happiness, Barrie and Jenkins, London, 1988, pp58, 79, 119, 122, 125, 134, 154, 170, 177, pl 94, illus colour p31 Peter Nahum, ‘Angels Dancing with the Sun and Moon’, Modern Painters, Summer 1990, Vol. 3, Issue 2, p4


During the 1930s, Cecil Collins produced a number of startlingly mature, visionary paintings. From The Cells of the Night, 1934, to The Voice and The Quest, both 1938, the imagery of celestial worlds, primitive life forms and the power of the sea pervades. By 1938, Collins and his wife Elisabeth were living in Totnes. Born in Plymouth, his early life was coloured by strong associations with the sea and its folklore, and the return to the West Country proved to be a great influence. Unlike many artists who went to Newlyn and St Ives excited by the light and landscape, Collins, who was already familiar with such things, turned to the interior and ancient life of the land, creating a ‘new landscape of the soul’.1 In The Voice, the rolling waves draw our eye upwards towards the portrait of an unknown figure, which appears as a cosmic vision. We are reminded of the flattened forms and pure lines of Byzantine art, which Collins admired for its austerity and ability to communicate the essence of an object. At this time, he was also looking at contemporary, scientific images, including illustrations of cells and astronomical photographs, and these seem to have informed both the irregular central shape surrounding the head and the concentric stars. At the left of the painting Collins has inscribed in red, ‘Holy Holy Holy Eternal, O Death O Life’. On the reverse, he has written two alternative titles for the painting ‘The Oracle’ and ‘The Planetary Spirit’. These clues suggest that the voice is a conduit, between the gods and the earth, the living and the dead, or between past and future. The picture belies an exact interpretation, but in this lies the nature and triumph of Collins’ work. It is his commitment to his own interior vision which gives his work its power and depth. Collins declared in 1937, ‘The only way we can experience truth is through our own personal identity, and one of the mysteries of this life is human personality, the thing that makes one being different from another.’ 2 1 William Anderson, Cecil Collins, The Quest for the Great Happiness, Barrie and Jenkins, London, 1988, p17 2 Ibid p49

John Piper 1903–1992 Beach and Star Fish, Seven Sister’s Cliff, Eastbourne, 1933–4 gouache, pen and ink with collage of paper and fabric 15 1/8 by 19 5/8 inches / 38.4 by 49.8 cm signed twice, with a further study of a beach scene in the same media verso Collections Lefevre Gallery, London (possibly) Private Collection, UK Thence by descent

It is likely that both this work and the related collage, Beach with Starfish, 1933–4 (Tate Gallery, London), were included in John Piper’s first solo exhibition at the Lefevre Gallery, London in 1933. Beach and Star Fish, Seven Sister’s Cliff, Eastbourne, 1933–4, is informed by Piper’s understanding of contemporary French art. Introduced to the work of Braque by H.S. Ede, Piper would frequent the Zwemmer bookshop on Charing Cross Road, seeking out books on Braque, Matisee and Picasso. In the late 1920s there were no monographs on Picasso, so instead Piper collected images of his work in scrapbooks. Later, in 1935, he made a special trip to Paris to see Picasso’s papiers collées at the Galerie Pierre. In this work the layering and shaping of paper is used to emphasise the rhythms of the landscape. The lighthouse perches on a cliff edge and a sensitively painted flag blows in the wind. Behind, the cliffs rise up in changing shades of grey and, in the foreground, starfish and shells suggest a beach strewn with objects from the sea. Over these elements Piper has painted his interpretation of the beach in a series of gestural marks, suggesting the effects of light, wind and waves. In 1937, Piper wrote an article 1 in which he identified the two most important, underlying subjects in his work. The first was a room and the second was the structure on a beach, or as he called it the ‘beach-machine.’ This landscape offered Piper both the possibility of man-made structures, such as the lighthouse, and also a vast range of inspiration from the changing natural climate of the beach and sea. Piper’s descriptions of this subject are often abstract and subjective and the article is made up of various musings which reflect this. The weather, he writes, ‘…is stormy, also quite calm, according to the way you look at it’, and, ‘There are chalk cliffs that are often clear grey, and other colours that sometimes contradict the facts, but they just manage to be recognizable as cliffs.’ 2 The artist’s evident fascination with this subject is conveyed in Beach and Star Fish, Seven Sister’s Cliff, Eastbourne. Here, Piper combines form, colour and found objects in a spontaneous and intuitive manner to produce a lively and poetic evocation of his beloved British landscape. 1 ‘Lost, A Valuable Object’ ed. Myfanwy Evans, The Painter’s Object, 1937 2 S. John Woods, John Piper, Paintings, Drawings and Theatre Design, Faber and Faber, London, 1955, unpaginated


Stanley Spencer 1891–1959 The Alder Tree, Gloucestershire, 1941 oil on canvas 27 5/8 by 36 inches / 70.1 by 91.4 cm Collections Redfern Gallery, London Ian Greenless, acquired 1942 Arthur Tooth, London Samuel Bank, acquired 1953 Private Collection, UK Private Collection, UK Exhibited Cookham, Stanley Spencer Gallery, Opened on 7 April 1962 with an exhibition of works from the permanent collection augmented by loans London, Christie’s, The New Patrons, 20th Century Art from Corporate Collections, January 1992 Literature Elizabeth Rothenstein, Stanley Spencer, Phaidon Press, Oxford and London, 1945, p25, pl 80 Keith Bell, Stanley Spencer, Phaidon Press, London 1992, p470, cat no.303, illus colour p299

The Alder Tree, Gloucestershire, 1941 is one of around a dozen landscapes painted during Stanley Spencer’s stay with the artists George and Daphne Charlton in the village of Leonard Stanley 1. During the day, the group would draw and paint local scenes in the village and surrounding countryside and, at night Spencer would return to his lodgings in the White Hart pub where he would often continue painting until morning. Another wonderful example from this series, Farm Pond, Leonard Stanley, 1940, is in the Tate Gallery’s collection. Whilst at Leonard Stanley, Spencer and Daphne began a love affair and the effect of this relationship, combined with the natural beauty of the environment, helped to revitalise the artist after the breakdown of his second marriage to Patricia Preece. Spencer was a deeply religious man and all of his paintings grew out of his extensive reading of the Bible and other literature. Spencer held Daphne in an almost holy reverence and this feeling finds its way into his depictions of the village. As Kenneth Pople describes, Spencer, ‘…transfigures villages, incidents and scenes by joining them with his feelings for Daphne to create a new ‘religious’ place or atmosphere, so that Leonard Stanley takes on, in his depictions, something of the mysterious aura he gave to Cookham in his boyhood.’ 2 Indeed, The Alder Tree, Gloucestershire is decorated with a tapestry of wonderfully intricate elder flowers which weave their way around the canvas, fixing the scene in the month of June. Behind the trees, the sky is a bright, clear blue and in the foreground, nettles and weeds are painted in tremendous detail, in myriad notes of green. The overall feeling is one of lightness, growth and renewal. Spencer’s choice of a garden shed as the central focus of this painting, elevates an otherwise prosaic building into a significant motif. It is typical of his visionary approach, in which even the most commonplace of subjects would have symbolic associations for the artist. Here, the depiction of outbuildings may be a reference to the nativity, and the horse-drawn cart suggests those used to remove dead and wounded soldiers during the First World War. As such, this English garden scene becomes an allegory for the circle of life – birth, death and resurrection. 1 Spencer stayed there between 1939 and 1941 2 Kenneth Pople, Stanley Spencer, A Biography, Harper Collins, London, 1991, p407


Matthew Smith 1879–1959 The Lustre Jug, 1943 oil on canvas 19 3/4 by 28 3/4 inches / 50 by 73 cm signed with initials Collections Arthur Tooth & Sons, London Mrs T.C.S. Haywood, by 1960 Exhibited London, Royal Academy, A Memorial Exhibition of Works by Sir Matthew Smith, 15 October–7 December 1960, cat. no.232 Literature John Rothenstein, Matthew Smith, Beaverbrook Newspapers, London, 1962, illus p32 John Gledhill, Matthew Smith, Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings, Lund Humphries, Farnham, 2009, cat no.578, p221, illus b/w

Smith’s oeuvre encompasses nudes, landscapes and still lifes, each of which came to the fore at different times as he encountered new formal problems, found new muses or travelled to new places. Still lifes formed a significant proportion of Smith’s output from around 1937, the catalogue raisonné records seven still lifes dating from 1943, which are characterised by a darker palette and more solid forms. John Gledhill notes how in these paintings, Smith’s central motif is seen in its entirety with objects isolated against a coloured ground. He sees in these works an exceptional grasp of form, and quotes Patrick Heron, who praised their ‘Braque-like… heraldic grandeur’.1 Smith often used a folding screen or fabric as a backdrop, which helped him to set up dynamic spatial effects. Often he juxtaposed warm reds and browns (which spring forward), against cooler blues and greens (which fall behind), so that the colours would compete. Gledhill quotes Smith, describing how ‘with me, the background must come forward’ 2. Smith’s studios were filled with pots, jugs, trays and fruit bowls. He favoured ornate shapes and often chose Victorian objects, which would eventually make their way into his paintings. A lustre glazed jug would undoubtedly have appealed to Smith as the reflective surface picks up colour from surrounding objects, creating further formal complexity. Gledhill notes that these objects, often bought from junk shops, were out of fashion and, as such, they lent the paintings a nostalgic, almost mournful quality. Smith was a master of alla prima painting, which produces fluid and spontaneous works, but is also perilously subject to chance. The technique, however, offers great reward, as is evident in the effortless and immediate brushwork of The Lustre Jug, 1943. Here, fast gestural strokes in yellow describe the spherical forms of the quinces, while orange strokes dance in an opposing direction, indicating shadow but also adding to our reading of the forms. Outlines separate and define the objects but also suggest the reflected colour of surrounding objects, such as the green of the cloth. Hints of green can also be seen in the shadows of the jug, and flashes of red appear in the background, drawing the three distinctive areas of colour together. The overall effect feels fresh, animated and harmonious. 1 Patrick Heron, ‘Matthew Smith: English Fauve’, New Statesman and Nation, repr. in The Changing Forms of Art, Routeledge and Keegan Paul, London, 1955 2 John Gledhill, Matthew Smith, Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings, Lund Humphires, Farnham, 2009, p42, quoting Francis Halliday’s introduction to Matthew Smith’s Royal Academy of Art Memorial exhibition, 1960, pxii


Henri Gaudier-Brzeska 1891–1915 Drawing for Sculpture, 1913 pencil and ink on paper 14 1/4 by 9 inches / 36.2 by 22.9 cm Collections Reid Gallery, London / Anthony d’Offay, London Galerie Pieter Coray, Lugano, 1987 Private Collection, Switzerland Private Collection, UK Literature Mervyn Levy, Gaudier-Brzeska: Drawings and Sculpture, Cory, Adams & Mackay, London, 1965, cat no.53, illus b/w p28

The practise of drawing is central to Henri Gaudier-Brzeska’s art. Whilst working as a translator in London in 1911, he spent his spare time drawing in parks, at the London Wrestling Club, off Fleet Street and at the British Museum. In the summer of 1912, Gaudier took life drawing classes, sketching continuously throughout, even when the model was resting. Like Rodin before him, and Moore and Hepworth after, Gaudier favoured drawing the human figure in motion to capture its sculptural qualities of form, movement and mass. Gaudier took inspiration from a wealth of sources including primitive art, Chinese calligraphy and his contemporaries Epstein and Brancusi. By 1913, he had begun to assimilate these influences into his own visual language of pure form, but one that retained its roots in organic motifs. As the artist explained, ‘Instead of drawing the fellow straight off… I draw square boxes, adjusting the sizes, one for each plane, and then suddenly by joining the boxes with a few little lines they see the statue emerge.’ 1 In Drawing for Sculpture, 1913, the triangle motif which appears in works from this period is present in the ovoid head and throughout the inventively simplified and energised forms of the figure. The drawing depicts a woman holding a child and a machine-like object and it is the first of four examples which explore a similar subject. 2 This series did not culminate in a final sculpture, however, elements of Drawing for Sculpture can be found in various sculptures, including one of Gaudier’s most important carvings, Red Stone Dancer, 1913–14. Ezra Pound’s description of this work in the Memorial Exhibition catalogue is as relevant to this drawing as it is to the sculpture, ‘[it] is almost a thesis of his ideas upon the use of pure form. We have the triangle and the circle asserted, labelled almost, upon the face and right breast. Into these so called ‘abstractions’ life flows, the circle moves and elongates into the oval, it increases and takes volume in the sphere or hemisphere of the breast. The triangle moves towards organism, it becomes a spherical triangle…The ‘abstract’ or mathematical bareness of the triangle and circle are fully incarnate, made flesh, full of vitality and of energy.’ 3 1 2 3


Evelyn Silber, David Finn, Gaudier-Brzeska, Life and Art, Thames and Hudson, London, 1996, p77 Mother and Child (Private Collection), Untitled (Musée des Beaux-Arts Orleans, France) and Femme et enfant dit aussi Homme-machine (Musée d’Arte Moderne, Paris) all dated 1914 Evelyn Silber, p107

Henry Moore 1898–1986 Two Seated Women and a Child, 1945 terracotta height 6 ¾ inches / 17.1 cm unique, HM 241 Collections The Artist Thence by descent Private Collection, UK Exhibited London, Tate Gallery, Sculpture and Drawings by Henry Moore, 2 May–29 July 1951, Arts Council, Festival of Britain, cat no.162, lent by the artist London, Tate Gallery, Henry Moore, Arts Council of Great Britain, 17 July–22 September 1968, cat no.64, illus b/w p115 Literature Robert Melville, Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings 1921– 1969, Harry N. Abrams Inc, New York, 1970, cat no.345, illus b/w David Sylvester, Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture Volume I, 1921– 1948, Lund Humphries, London, 1990, HM no.241, illus b/w p148

Two Seated Women and a Child, 1945, is a unique terracotta, from which an edition of seven bronzes were cast in the same year. It is one of a series of eighteen sculptures on the theme of the family group which Henry Moore produced between 1944 and 1947. Moore first considered the family group as a subject in 1934 when he was approached to undertake a large, public sculpture for the Village College at Impington, near Cambridge, although a lack of funding meant the project was ultimately abandoned. This sculpture differs from other family groups in that it features two women and a child. In 1942, Moore had made a series of Mother and Child sculptures as part of a commission for St. Matthew’s Church in Northampton. Discussing this project in 1953 he commented, “There are two particular motifs or subjects which I have constantly used in my sculpture in the last twenty years: they are the ‘reclining figure’ idea and the ‘mother and child’ idea. (Perhaps of the two the ‘mother and child’ has been the more fundamental obsession)” 1 This terracotta relates in style to a number of Moore’s wartime shelter drawings, such as Three Women and a Child, 1944. In these drawings, we see Moore refining his humanist approach to art, in relation to the formal influences of Mediterranean and Italianate sculpture and archaic and primitive art. Here, we see a classical influence in the treatment of the figures’ clothing, flowing hair and rounded limbs. The scale, and relationship between the figures, also has a certain monumentality in keeping with classical sculpture. A faithful rendering of anatomical features is displaced here by a more expressive and intuitive description, found in primitive art, which emphasises the presence of these figures and the relationships which they express, over physical correctness.   The symbolic and compositional centre of this sculpture is the child. The sense of a familial unit is at once intensely private and, at the same time, universal. Moore’s initial decision to explore the family group grew out of his desire to create an image relevant to the theme of community. After the widespread psychic and material damage inflicted by the Second World War, his images of nurturing, protective family groups became all the more poignant. 1 The artist quoted in David Mitchinson, Henry Moore, John Wiley and Sons, 1992, p90


Henry Moore 1898–1986 Reclining Figure, 1945 terracotta, hand-painted by the artist with shellac 3 3/4 by 7 1/4 by 4 inches / 9.5 by 18.5 by 10 cm unique, HM 237 Collections The Artist Thence by descent Private Collection, UK Exhibited Paris, Didier Imbert Fine Art, Henry Moore Intime, 3 April–24 July 1992, touring to: Tokyo, Sezon Museum of Art, 15 September–3 November 1992 Kitakyushu, Municipal Museum of Art, 21 November 1992–24 January 1993 Hiroshima, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, 9 April–6 May 16 1993 Oita, Oita Prefectural Museum of Art, 25 June–8 August 1993 Literature David Sylvester, Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings 1921–48, Vol. 1, Lund Humphries, London, 1957, cat no. 254, p16, LH 254 Timothée Trimm, Henry Moore Intime, Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo,1992, p87, cat no. Fa-58, illus b/w p181

Henry Moore adopted the theme of the reclining figure, his most important subject, from as early as 1925. In 1922, Moore had made a formative visit to the Trocadéro (now Musée de l’Homme) in Paris, where he encountered a plaster cast of a ‘Chac-Mool’, a Toltec-Mayan sculpture. The asymmetry of the female figure, one of the fundamental characteristics of Mexican sculpture, was a revelation to the artist. It directly inspired early carvings, such as the Hornton stone Reclining Figure, 1929, and remained an important influence on later works such as this terracotta. Moore’s treatment of the reclining figure was continually evolving. During the 1930s, figures were reduced to, almost unidentifiable, abstract shapes and combined with strings to suggest the internal tensions of the body. In the 1940s, Moore alluded to the effects of war on the body, through sinuous, taut and broken silhouettes. Moore explained that the reclining figure offered him a motif through which he could explore a range of formal concerns, ‘The subject matter is given. It’s settled for you, and you know it and like it, so that within it, within the subject that you’ve done a dozen times before, you are completely free to invent a completely new form-idea.’ 1 Reclining Figure, 1945 is an amalgamation of a number of earlier formal experiments. The body has been opened up from the inside and is explored as a collection of abstract shapes. Existing cavities, such as the space between elbow and torso, have been carved into larger recesses and holes, allowing us to see into and through the figure. The female body as we know it is not present here, yet we still find traces of it in the raised legs, inscribed face and voluptuous torso. Perhaps the most notable aspect of this work is its relationship with the landscape. The figure has a wonderful biomorphic quality – the shape of the legs and torso recall the rolling hills of the English countryside, the smooth finish of the terracotta imitates the worn surfaces of pebbles, whilst the holes suggest the form of an eroded shell washed up on the beach. 1 The artist quoted in John Russell, Henry Moore, Allan Lane, Penguin Press, London, 1968, p48


Patrick Heron 1920–1999 Christmas Eve, 1951 oil on canvas 72 by 120 inches / 182.9 by 304.8 cm signed and dated Collections The Artist The Artist’s Family Private Collection, USA Private Collection, UK Exhibited Manchester, City Art Gallery, 60 Paintings for 51, Arts Council of Great Britain, Festival of Britain exhibition, 2 May–10 June 1951, cat no.25, illus b/w pl 43, touring to: London, R.B.A. Galleries; Leicester, Art Gallery; Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery; Bristol, City Art Gallery; Norwich, Castle Museum; Plymouth, City Art Gallery; Leeds, City Art Gallery; Newcastle Upon Tyne, Laing Art Gallery; Glasgow, City Art Gallery; Brighton, Art Gallery; York, City Art Gallery; Preston, Harris Art Gallery London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, 20th Century Form: Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, 9 April–31 May 1953, cat no.20 Sheffield, Mappin Art Gallery, 25 from 51: 25 Paintings from the Festival of Britain, 17 May–2 July 1978, cat no.12, touring to: Birmingham, City Museum and Art Gallery, 8 July–12 August London, Barbican Art Gallery, Patrick Heron, 11 July–1 September 1985, cat no.20, illus colour p29 Kobe, Hyogo Prefectual Museum of Modern Art, St Ives, 8 April –7 May 1989, cat no.66, illus colour p84, touring to: Kamakura, Museum of Modern Art, 20 May–25 June Tokyo, Setagaya Art Museum, 2 July–27 August London, Tate Gallery, Patrick Heron, 25 June–6 September 1998, cat no.9, illus colour, pp60–61 London, Waddington Galleries, Patrick Heron Early Paintings 1945–1955, cat no.15, illus colour Literature John Berger, New Statesman and Nation, vol. XLI, no.1060, 30 June 1951, pp744–745 Philip James, ‘Patronage for Painters – 60 Painters for ‘51, The Studio, vol. CXLII, no.701, August 1951, pp42–47, p45, illus b/w p46 Literature continues on back page 8

Mel Gooding has described Christmas Eve, 1951, as ‘…a tour de force in Heron’s mature figurative manner.’ 1 Originally commissioned for the Festival of Britain and vast in scale, it is a complex and enigmatic painting in which Heron has assimilated a number of artistic influences into his own, unique style. The painting depicts the artist’s two daughters, and a fictional child, in the drawing room of Heron’s parents’ house in Welwyn Garden City. The girls’ grandmother plays the piano, whilst their mother arranges the Christmas tree. Areas of vibrant oil colour, squeezed directly from the tube, are broken by white lines which form arabesques, zigzags and ellipses, drawing the eye around the canvas. Colour is the unifying theme of Heron’s work and here it adds a wonderful energy, articulating the artist’s sensory experience of the scene before him. As Gooding has commented, ‘Nothing is still in this space but the spellbound children, three focal points to which the eye is irresistibly drawn and by them momentarily stopped: the room enters our head as it enters theirs, a dizzying enchantment of sound and colour.‘ 2 Heron’s paintings from this period are marked by a conscious appropriation of French art. Having already seen paintings by Braque and Picasso in London in 1939, Heron was ‘electrified’ by Matisse’s The Red Studio, 1919 when he saw it at the Redfern Gallery in 1949. This painting became the single most important influence on his career. For Heron, like Matisse, colour was both a tool for the creation of pictorial space and a means of expression understood on an emotional, as opposed to a rational, level. Heron particularly admired Braque’s late Atelier series, in which he used familiar, domestic objects to explore complex, spatial relationships. For Heron, Braque’s motifs were ‘powerful symbols of Life itself.’ 3 Christmas Eve is painted in a manner that can be described as ‘Abstraction-figuration.’ The painting has a wonderful sense of pattern, created by a complex system of interlocking lines and areas of bright, pure colour. At the same time, it is fully rooted in a figurative art concerned with reflecting Heron’s personal reality. Heron believed that the human eye does not see ‘Naum Gabo’s electrons’ but a ‘rush-bottomed chair, a coffee-pot, a girl cut in half by a shaft of light’ 4 and Christmas Eve articulates this feeling beautifully. 1 Mel Gooding, Patrick Heron, Phaidon, London, 1994, p75 2 Ibid 3 Mel Gooding, Patrick Heron, ‘Braque’, Painter as Critic Patrick Heron: Selected Writings, Tate Publishing, 1998, p15 4 Ibid, ‘Art is Autonomous’, p98

Henry Moore 1898–1986 Reclining Figures: Ideas for Stone Sculpture, 1944 wax crayon, watercolour, wash, pen and ink and pencil on paper 16 1/2 by 22 3/8 inches / 42 by 56.8 cm signed, HMF 2262 Collections The Artist Zika Ascher, London, acquired from the above 1944 Marlborough Fine Art, London Hubertus Wald, Hamburg, acquired 19 November 1970 The Hubertus Wald Charitable Foundation Exhibited Paris, Musée d’Art Moderne, Exposition Internationale d’Art Moderne, organised by UNESCO, 18 November–28 December 1946, cat no.32, p56 London, Tate Gallery, Sculpture and Drawings by Henry Moore, Arts Council, Festival of Britain, 2 May–29 July 1951, cat no.104 Berlin, Haus am Waldsee, Henry Moore: Zeichnungen und Kleine Plastik, September 1951, cat no.50, touring to Vienna and Linz in 1955 Hamburg, Kunsthalle, Sammlung Wald, September –November 2003 Literature Herbert Read, Henry Moore Sculpture and Drawings 1921–1948, Vol. I, Lund Humphries, London, 1949, illus b/w, pl 237 Robert Melville, Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings 1921–1969, Thames and Hudson, London, 1970, p352, cat no. 339, illus b/w Ann Garrould (ed.), Henry Moore, Complete Drawings 1940–49, Vol. 3, Henry Moore Foundation/Lund Humphries, Aldershot, 2001, p230, AG no. 44.78, illus colour pl XXV

In Reclining Figures: Ideas for Stone Sculpture, 1944, Moore has executed six variations on the theme of the reclining figure, each taken from his imagination. These figures undergo a series of organic transformations from the most naturalistic example, centre right, to the most abstract form, beneath it. The metamorphosis of these figures refers back to the artist’s transformation drawings of the 1930s. As Moore explained in his statement for Unit One, in 1934: ‘The human figure is what interests me most deeply, but I have found principles of form and rhythm from the study of natural objects such as pebbles, rocks, bones, trees, plants, etc. Pebbles and rocks show nature’s way of working stone…and the principal of asymmetry… Bones have a marvellous structural strength and hard tenseness of form, subtle transition of one shape into the next and great variety in section.’ 1 The transition from observed natural objects into biomorphic forms reflected Moore’s knowledge of contemporary developments in Paris, in particular the work of Picasso and Arp, and led to his association with both the Surrealist Movement and the geometric abstraction of Unit One. Here, the influence of Moore’s shelter and mine drawings can be seen in the subterranean setting, each frontal form confined to a claustrophobic catacomb-like space. The drawing also illustrates Moore’s ‘mysterious fascination’ with ‘caves in hillsides and cliffs’. 2 The figures appear to form an elemental part of their surrounding environment, as integrated into the landscape as the organic materials which inspired them. The moss green surround sustains the natural aesthetic, as does the rich surface texture which suggests the appearance of earth and stone. These figures are not preparatory studies for specific sculptures but ideas in development. From the outset of his career, Moore considered drawing a fundamental skill for any sculptor, stating, ‘Drawing is everything…All the sculptors who have been any good have been great draughtsmen. Drawing is enough if you do it well.’ 3   1 2 3


The artist cited in A. Wilkinson, The Drawings of Henry Moore, exh cat, Tate Gallery, London, 1977, p24 The artist in D. Sylvester (ed.), Henry Moore Complete Sculpture, 1921–48, Vol. I, Lund Humphries, London, 1990, pXXXIV The Artist cited in H. Moore and J. Hedgecoe, Henry Moore, My Ideas, Inspiration and Life as an Artist, Ebury Press, London, p96

Henry Moore 1898–1986 Maquette for Figure on Steps, 1956 bronze height 6 1/2 inches / 16.5 cm signed with artist’s label on the base edition of 10, unnumbered Collections Private Collection, Canada Waddington Galleries, London Private Collection, New York Private Collection, USA, acquired 1996 Private Collection, UK Literature Alan Bowness, (ed.), Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture, 1955–64, Vol. 3, Lund Humphries, London, 1986, cat no.426, illus p34 another cast

During the mid-1950s a series of public commissions (including a monumental sculpture for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris) inspired Henry Moore to explore the integration of figurative sculpture within an architectural setting. As a result, he created a group of drawings and maquettes which feature draped figures seated on, or against, geometric architectural elements, such as benches and steps. While the setting of the seated figure was a departure for Moore, the draped figure recalled an interest apparent in his earlier shelter drawings. This interest was revitalised by his visit to Greece in 1951, which inspired a return to the study of drapery and its importance in the revelation of form, ‘Drapery can emphasise the tension in a figure, for where the form pushes outwards, such as on the shoulders, the thighs, the breasts, etc., it can be pulled tight across the form (almost like a bandage), and by contrast with the crumpled slackness of the drapery which lies between the salient points, the pressure from inside is intensified’. 1 Moore’s first draped figure conceived in bronze was the Reclining Figure commissioned for the Time-Life building in 1952–53, during which he developed a technique that undoubtedly informed the modelling of diaphanous material seen in Maquette for Figure on Steps, 1956, ‘gradually I evolved a treatment that exploited the fluidity of plaster. The treatment of drapery in my stone carvings was a matter of large, simple creases and folds but the modelling technique enabled me to build up large forms with a host of small crinklings and ruckings of the fabric.’ 2 Other casts of Maquette for Figure on Steps are in the collections of the Tate Gallery, London and the Otter Gallery, University of Chichester. Versions of the larger scale bronze Draped Seated Woman, 1957–58, are in the collections of the Von der HeydtMuseum, Wuppertal and the Musée d’Art Moderne, Brussels.  1 The artist cited in P. James, Henry Moore on Sculpture, MacDonald, London, 1966, p231 2 Ibid p230


Kenneth Armitage 1916–2002 Figure Lying on Its Side, 1957 bronze length 33 inches / 83.8 cm Collections Dr Edgar Berman Thence by descent Private Collection, UK Exhibited Venice, British Pavilion, Kenneth Armitage, S.W. Hayter & William Scott, XXIX Venice Biennale, 1958, cat no.76, illus b/w, another cast London, Arthur Tooth & Sons, Critic’s Choice (David Sylvester), 1–26 July 1958, cat no.29, illus p23, another cast Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Kenneth Armitage & William Scott, 3–30 June 1959, cat no.20, illus, another cast London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Kenneth Armitage, July–August 1959, cat no.32, illus b/w pl xiv, another cast Hanover, Kestner-Gesellschaft, Kenneth Armitage, Lynn Chadwick, 12 April–15 May 1960, cat no.15, another cast, touring to: Ulm; Duisberg; Berlin Nurnberg, Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, Recent British Sculpture, 13 April 1961, cat no.8, illus, another cast, touring to: Montreal; Winnipeg; Regina; Toronto; London; Vancouver; Auckland; Wellington; Dunedin; Christchurch; Adelaide; Perth; Hobart; Launceston; Melbourne; Sydney; Brisbane; Newcastle; Canberra; Tokyo; Kyoto London, Tate Gallery, 54–64: Painting and Sculpture of a Decade, 22 April–28 June 1964, cat no.204, illus, artist’s cast Norwich, Castle Museum, Kenneth Armitage, 16 December 1972 –14 January 1973, cat no.11, illus b/w p14, another cast, touring to: Bolton; Oldham; Kettering; Nottingham; Portsmouth; Plymouth; Llanelli; Leeds; Hull London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, British Sculpture in the Twentieth Century, 11 September 1981–24 January 1982, illus p133, another cast Leeds, City Art Galleries, Herbert Read: A British Vision of World Art, 25 November 1993–5 February 1994, cat no.10, illus b/w fig 153, another cast

Exhibitions and literature continues on back page 11

In 1955, Kenneth Armitage rented a studio in Notting Hill and began working on larger sculptures, entering, in his own words, ‘the most creative period of my life’. 1 Alan Bowness recalls that his studio contained, ‘objects of an entirely urban environment: books and magazines, chairs, a bed and a folding screen, a telephone, a pile of children’s toys, among them a large model army tank’. 2 It was in the forms of this man-made environment that Armitage found an aesthetic that he would apply to the human figure. The simplified and flattened form of Figure Lying on Its Side, 1957, echoes the structure of the artist’s folding screen, yet the bulkiness of the figure, its sense of mass, mimics the solidity of his model tank. Armitage was interested in the structures which underpinned contemporary architecture and this made him more aware of the underlying vertical and horizontal lines in his work. ‘I became… interested in structure. Most of us spend our day vertically on our feet and at night we rest horizontally. We live in a world of verticals and horizontals…’ 3 Placing the figure on its side allowed Armitage to foreground the connection between the sculpture and the ground (and by extension, the wider world). His desire to ‘ground’ the sculpture is furthered here by the female subject’s inadequately proportioned legs, which suggest that she is rooted to the spot, unable, or disinclined to get up. Lying on the ground, she has an animalistic vulnerability, like an upturned beetle or fallen cow. The subject of falling, toppled and top-heavy figures, is found in the work of other post-war British sculptors such as Elisabeth Frink and Bernard Meadows and in the series of fallen horses made by Italian sculptor Marino Marini, such as Fallen Rider, 1957. 1 2 3

Tamsyn Woolcombe in association with the artist, Kenneth Armitage, Life and Work, Henry Moore Foundation/Lund Humphries, London, 1997, p34 Alan Bowness, introduction to Kenneth Armitage, Whitechapel Retrospective exhibition catalogue, 1958, p8 Norbert Lynton, Kenneth Armitage, Methuen, London, 1962, p1

Barbara Hepworth 1903–1975 Drawing for Sculpture, 1940 pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper 9 1/2 by 12 inches / 24.1 by 30.5 cm signed and dated Collections James Kirkman Ivor Braka Hiscox Collection, London Mrs T.S. Eliot

In August 1939, Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson moved from London to St Ives, and for the next three years Hepworth channelled her art into drawing, ‘In the late evenings, and during the night I did innumerable drawings in gouache and pencil – all of them abstract, and all of them my own way of exploring the particular tensions and relationships of form and colour which were to occupy me in sculpture during the later years of the war…’ 1 Hepworth’s drawings from this period were, ‘precise, measured, cool and totally abstract,’ 2 and she described the appeal of working in this way to Herbert Read, ‘Abstract drawing has always been for me a particularly exciting adventure. First there is only one’s mood; then the surface takes one’s mood in colour and texture; then a line or curve which, made with a pencil on the hard surface of many coats of oil or gouache, has a particular kind of ‘bite’ rather like incising on slate; then one is lost in a new world of a thousand possibilities…’ 3 In Drawing for Sculpture, 1940, a series of finely drawn straight lines intersect, forming parabolic curves. These interact with a number of rhomboid and triangular shapes, formed from other lines, creating a complex perspective in which the various planes seem to come forward in one moment and recede in the next. Hepworth uses colour to add further spatial depth to the composition. Filled-in areas of gouache, in ultramarine, burnt umber and grey, appear to jump forward from the drawing’s surface, which has earlier been prepared with a muted, pale blue ground. The overall effect is of a complex crystalline form suspended in space. Hepworth’s wartime drawings were a means of exploring sculptural ideas, but she also considered these works to be fully realised compositions ‘existing in their own right’, 4 and there is no sculptural equivalent of this work. The precise, intersecting lines in Drawing for Sculpture recall Hepworth’s stringed sculptures from the 1930s, and the sweeping curves seen here, find their sculptural equivalent in later works, such as Theme on Electronics (Orpheus) and Stringed Figure (Curlew) (Versions I and II), both created in 1956. 1 2 3 4


The Artist, quoted in Herbert Read (ed.), Barbara Hepworth: Carvings and Drawings, London, 1952, Chapter Four, unpaginated Alan Bowness, Barbara Hepworth Drawings from a Sculptor’s Landscape, Cory Adams and Mackay, London, 1966, p17 The Artist, quoted in Herbert Read (ed.), Barbara Hepworth: Carvings and Drawings, London, 1952, Chapter Five, Rhythm and Space, unpaginated Chris Stephens (ed.), Barbara Hepworth, Centenary, Tate Publishing, London, 2003, p71

Barbara Hepworth 1903–1975 Head (Mykonos), 1959–60 white serravezza marble height 10 inches / 25.4 cm Opus 87 Collections The Artist Charles Lienhard, acquired 1961 Roy and Frances Friedman, Chicago Private Collection, USA Private Collection, UK Exhibited Zurich, Galerie Charles Lienhard, Barbara Hepworth, October 1960, cat no.24, illus b/w Literature J. P. Hodin, Alan Bowness, Barbara Hepworth, Lund Humphries, London, 1961, cat no.261

In 1964, Barbara Hepworth wrote to Norman Reid, ‘I am one of the few people in the world who know how to speak through marble’. 1 Hepworth learnt to carve from Giovanni Ardini, a master-carver, while living in Italy in 1925. One of her earliest recorded sculptures dates from 1927, 2 and she continued to carve in marble throughout her career. Head (Mykonos), 1959–60, is carved in serravezza marble, a fine-grained marble found in Tuscany, Italy. Hepworth told the critic Josef Hodin, ‘I love marble specially because of its radiance in the light, its hardness, precision and response to the sun […] Marble is indeed a noble material, it has a most exceptional sensitivity and delicacy as well as a tremendous strength.’ 3 Hepworth was fascinated by Greek mythology, art and culture and, although she had yet to visit the country, she began giving her work Grecian titles in the 1940s. In 1953, Hepworth travelled to Athens and Delphi, and a number of the Aegean islands, including Mykonos. The trip is recalled by Sally Festing, ‘…for two weeks Barbara submitted herself to a place which no enumeration of their physical characteristics can completely describe. In and out of museums and ancient sites. Visiting springs, being subjected to earthquakes and volcanic fumes: all these things recorded in words and drawings…Climbing Mount Kythes at Delos, a ferocious wind tore at her hair and clothes, hurling her to the ground. Scrambling up, she persevered. Sketchbook in hand, she ran up hills like a hare, to receive the full impact of solitude.’ 4 The romanticism and classicism associated with the Aegean undoubtedly had an impact on Hepworth’s art. Several of the carvings made after this trip, such as Corinthos, 1954–5, (Tate Gallery, London) and Head (Mykonos) are characterized by sweeping, organic forms. In Head (Mykonos) the overall form is subtly rounded, as if the forces of nature have refined the mass of a boulder by scraping and polishing. Here Hepworth creates a sense of monumentality by her use of a relatively small opening, within a solid form. The sculpture is both grand and intimate – Hepworth’s fluid carving evokes the swirling waves of the Mediterranean and the rounded cliffs of Mykonos island itself, which have been worn away over centuries. 1 2 3 4


A letter to Norman Reid, 7 November 1964, Tate Gallery Acquisitions Files This sculpture is Doves Group, 1927, carved in Parian marble Quoted in J.P. Hodin, ‘Barbara Hepworth and the Mediterranean Spirit,’ Marmo Rivista Internazionale d’Arte e Architettura, no.3, December 1964, pp59 and 62 Sally Festing, Barbara Hepworth, A Life of Forms, Penguin, London, 1996, pp210–211

Ben Nicholson 1894–1982 Sept 3–53 (Diamond), 1953 oil and pencil on board 10 7/8 by 18 7/8 inches / 27.5 by 48 cm signed, dated and titled verso Collections The Artist Private Collection, UK Private Collection, UK Exhibited Venice, British Pavilion, Ben Nicholson, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, XXVII Venice Biennale, 1954, cat no.461 Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Ben Nicholson, 1 November 1954–31 July 1955, cat no.54, touring to; Paris, Musée National D’art Moderne, 21 January –20 February 1955 Brussels, Palais Des Beaux-Arts De Bruxelles, 5–27 March 1955 Zurich, Kunsthaus, 9 April–21 May 1955 London, Tate Gallery, 21 June–31 July 1955

The composition of Sept 3–53 (Diamond), 1953, relates to Ben Nicholson’s earlier 1951 mural for the Festival of Britain, which was commissioned for the entrance of the Riverside Restaurant. The mural depicted a similar dynamic composition of diagonal lines and included a distinctive diamond shape. In the 1950s, Nicholson’s integration of landscape with still life had reached a new level of sophistication, whereby his works could not be identified definitively as either. Each work recalled and distilled places seen and studied: Tuscan and Umbrian villages, sun drenched and parched fields, windswept moors, the gorse and bracken of West Penwith, the chimneys of abandoned Cornish tin mines or boats bobbing up and down in St Ives harbour. The titles Nicholson attributed to his paintings were not descriptive but acted as a trigger for an imaginative response. Architecture and landscape were evoked not simply through drawing and colour but also through texture. In Sept 3–53 (Diamond), Nicholson has prepared the board by repeatedly painting, then rubbing and scraping back the surface. The delicate, mottled range of colours this achieves is reminiscent of the weathering of natural objects, where underlying colours are revealed by the elements. The pencil lines dance across the board in a rhythmic composition, criss–crossing and overlapping. Nicholson replicates the actions of both the farmer tilling the land, cutting through and reworking the surface, and the archaeologist and sculptor who reveal the inner core. A painting for Nicholson was not a depiction of nature but an equivalent for it. `In a painting it should be as impossible to separate form from colour or colour from form as it is to separate wood from wood-colour or stone-colour from stone. Colour exists not as applied paint but as the inner core of an idea and this idea cannot be touched physically any more than one can touch the blue of a summer sky.’ 1 The present work was exhibited at the 1954 Venice Biennale where Nicholson represented Britain alongside Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon. This painting, amongst other works, won Nicholson the Ulisse Prize – a heavyweight achievement considering the Biennale’s theme of Surrealism, the lack of a British representative on the judging panel and competition from Max Ernst, Joan Miro and Jean Arp. 1 The artist quoted in Tate Gallery exhibition catalogue, 1955


Alan Davie 1920–2014 Altar of the Blue Diamond, 1950 oil on masonite 72 by 96 inches / 182.9 by 243.8 cm Collections Private Collection, Europe Exhibited Wakefield City Art Gallery, Alan Davie, In Retrospect, 1 March–30 March, 1958, cat no.19, touring to: London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Alan Davie, June–August, 1958, cat no.21 Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, Alan Davie, In Retrospect, 10 September–5 October, 1958, cat no.19 London, Royal Academy of Arts, British Art in the 20th Century, The Modern Movement, 15 January–5 April 1987, cat no.209, illus colour Literature Douglas Hall and Michael Tucker, Alan Davie, Lund Humphries, London, 1992, cat no.58, illus colour pl 49 p100 Margaret Garlake, New Art New World, British Art in Post-War Society, Yale University, New Haven, 1998, pp111–112, illus b/w p111

Between 1948–49, Alan Davie, who was also a jazz musician and jeweller, spent a year in Europe. In Paris, he saw early Christian, Byzantine and Romanesque art and in Venice, Peggy Guggenheim introduced him to her collection of Surrealist and contemporary American painting. At the Venice Biennale he was impressed with works by Picasso, Moore and Chagall and in Florence, he encountered masterpieces from the Trecento and Quattrocento. Altar of the Blue Diamond, 1950, is an exemplary oil from the early 1950s. Davie’s work after 1949 was centred on an intuitive, improvisational technique and the resulting paintings have a lyricism indebted to jazz music. Here, the surface is built up in thick layers, foregrounding both the materiality of paint and the physical gesture of the artist. As Davie has explained, ‘The process of painting was very distinctive – layer upon layer destroying what was underneath – and always working spontaneously and automatically – so of all the works done, very little was kept – only those images which happened in the rare magical moments when I was completely surprised and “enraptured beyond knowing”.’ 1 Davie’s painting is imbued with a sense of ritual and mysticism and the altar is a recurring theme. His paintings are a web of mysterious signs, describing not what the human eye can see but instead what it cannot. In the present work, there is a sense of refracted space, as if we are viewing the image through a prism. Certain elements suggest actual things or places and his own experiences are distilled into the paintings. Here the palette of rich reds, golds and royal blue recall the colours used in the altar of the Church of Santa María de La Alhambra, which Davie would have seen whilst in Granada. Whilst Davie’s own experience is fundamental to the creation of an image, he viewed painting as a means by which to gain a deeper understanding of the Universe. As he explains, ‘Although every work of mine must inevitably bear the stamp of my own personality, I feel that each one must, to be satisfactory, be a new revelation of something hitherto unknown to me, and I consider this evocation of the unknown to be the true function of any art.’ 2 1 Alan Davie, letter to the Tate Gallery, 24 April 1972 2 Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, Oldbourne Press, London 1964, unpaginated


Victor Pasmore 1908–1998 Abstract in White, Black Green and Maroon, 1962 painted wood and Perspex 21 1/8 by 21 1/8 by 4 1/2 inches / 53.4 by 53.4 by 11.5 cm Collections Private Collection, Italy Exhibited IV San Marino Biennale, 1963 Literature Alan Bowness and Luigi Lambertini (intros.), Victor Pasmore, with a Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Constructions and Graphics 1926–1979, cat no.268, illus b/w p107

In the late 1940s, Victor Pasmore began to experiment with abstraction and by the end of the decade he had abandoned figurative imagery. In a pivotal work, Abstract in Black, White and Maroon, 1954, Pasmore presented a pared-down composition of horizontal, parallel lines made by fixing wooden strips, painted in three colours, to a white backboard. In his next work 1, he switched to an arrangement of vertical wooden strips on board and finally he applied these vertical strips to a floating sheet of Perspex. 2 This third work was Pasmore’s first ‘projective relief ’, a new form which became his central focus until 1965. Pasmore explains this development, ‘True painting in any form, always develops a concrete existence of its own, independent of what it represents […] To emphasise this condition unequivocally I started by abandoning the paintbrush, with its illusionistic associations, and adopted the paper collage technique of early Cubism in which the painting was built forward from the picture-plane. This affirmation of the concrete surface and pigmental substance of painting led to the notion of constructing a picture like a carpenter constructs a box with wood, saw, hammer and nails. Hence the collage developed into a relief […] If painting is to become a free object in its own right, capable of producing a maximum aesthetic impact, then it could be argued that its form would have to correspond to the dimensions of the space it occupies, like any natural object.’ 3 In Abstract in White, Black, Green and Maroon, 1962, the raised vertical strips (literally) project colours forward into space, while the transparency of the Perspex creates an ambiguity between the work and its surroundings. Our reading of the construction changes with the time of day, the whites, in particular, appear to spring forward and recede as the light changes and different shadows are created on the supporting wall. Pasmore is sometimes associated with other British artists such as Kenneth and Mary Martin, but, while the Martins developed systems and rules to govern their image making, Pasmore’s abstract works were always intuitive, a practise he likened to the composition of music. Comparable relief constructions are in the collections of the Tate Gallery, London, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh and Boymans Museum, Rotterdam. 1 2 3.


Alan Bowness and Luigi Lambertini (intros.), Victor Pasmore, with a Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Constructions and Graphics 1926–1979, cat no.182, Abstract in White, Black and Ochre, 1954 Ibid, cat no.183, Abstract in White, Black, Green and Crimson, 1954 Ibid pp100–106

Howard Hodgkin b.1932 The Visit, 1963 oil on hardboard 20 1/4 by 23 1/8 inches / 51.5 by 58.5 cm Collections Waddington and Tooth, London Colin St John Wilson Exhibited London, Arthur Tooth & Sons, Howard Hodgkin: Recent Paintings, 21 January–15 February 1964, cat no.8 London, Serpentine Gallery, Howard Hodgkin: Forty-Five Paintings, 1949–1977, 1–31 May 1976, Arts Council, cat no.12, illus colour p34, touring to: Leigh, Turnpike Gallery; Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Laing Art Gallery; Aberdeen, Aberdeen Art Gallery; Sheffield, Graves Art Gallery Chichester, Pallant House Gallery, September 1998–October 1999, on long-term loan from the collection of Colin St John Wilson Chichester, Pallant House Gallery, Highlights of the Wilson Collection, 1 October 1999–9 January 2000 Chichester, Pallant House Gallery, Best of British: The Art of Drawing and Painting, 21 January–19 March 2000, where lent by Colin St John Wilson West Sussex, Pentworth House, The Wilson Collection, 15 July –2 August 2000 Chichester, Pallant House Gallery, Less is More: Large Works on a Small Scale, 29 September 2000–14 January 2001 Literature Norbert Lynton, ‘Great High Spirits,’ New Statesman, 31 January 1964, cat no.67, pp179–80 Bryan Robertson, John Russell and Lord Snowdon, Private View, Thomas Nelson and Sons, London, 1965, illus p278 ‘Howard Hodgkin,’ Ark (The Journal of the Royal College of Art), Summer 1965, cat no.38, pp18–21 Caroline Tisdall, ‘Howard Hodgkin,’ The Guardian, 27 May 1976 Michael Auping, John Elderfield, Susan Sontag & Marla Price, Howard Hodgkin, Paintings, Thames and Hudson, London and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, 1995, cat no.48, illus colour p14 Asmund Thorkildsen, Howard Hodgkin, The Thinking Painter of Embodied Memories, Skira Editore, Italy, 2011, p16


Hodgkin has described himself as, ‘a representational painter, but not a painter of appearances. I paint representational pictures of emotional situations.’ 1 Hodgkin’s paintings draw directly from his own impressions, memories and experiences, yet he has also expressed his wish to distance himself from the work, saying ‘…every mark I put down should not be a piece of personal autograph but just a mark, which then can be used with any other to contain something.’ 2 The Visit, 1963, is an important transitional painting in which we see the artist starting to conceive figurative elements as simple, abstract codes. It has been suggested that Hodgkin’s early works have an affinity with Pop art or the American Colour-Field painters, but these are more formal than conceptual similarities. Like other early paintings such as The Second Visit, 1963, Seated Figure, 1965, and Anthony Hill and Gillian Wise, 1963–4, The Visit is concerned with representing people within social situations and interiors. Andrew Graham-Dixon remarks, ‘This subject belongs to a long tradition of painting that might be said to run from Dutch genre in the seventeenth century, through to Chardin in France and conversation painting in England in the eighteenth century, and then on to painters of domestic subject matter in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.’ 3 Hodgkin’s work is often linked to Intimism, a variety of late 19th and early 20th century painting, associated principally with Pierre Bonnard and Édouard Vuillard, which focused on the domestic interior. As in Vuillard’s paintings, such as Woman Sweeping, c.1892 and The Reader, c.1896, in The Visit, Hodgkin uses flat areas of intense colour to create a strong sense of surface pattern. The feeling of a space inhabited, and a moment captured, is translated from Vuillard’s more representational imaginings into Hodgkin’s abstracted forms. Hodgkin has held a long fascination with Indian painting and today he owns a large collection of Indian miniatures. The Visit echoes the wonderfully assertive geometry and unrestrained sense of pattern-making found in one of these miniatures, Rama’s Forest Dwelling in Panchavati, North India, c.1605. That these techniques have been used throughout history to articulate experience, attests not only to art’s ability to distil memory over time, but to Hodgkin’s acute awareness of this fact in his work. As Hodgkin commented on his paintings, ‘Ideally they should be memorials.’ 4 1 Andrew Graham-Dixon, Howard Hodgkin, Harry N. Abrams, London, 1994, p7 2 Caroline Tisdall, ‘Howard Hodgkin’, The Guardian, 27th May 1976 3 Andrew Graham-Dixon, p17 4 John Russell, ‘Hodgkin Colour Locals’, ART news 66, May 1967, p62

Allen Jones b.1937 Untitled (Man Woman), 1963 oil and pencil on paper 11 3/4 by 7 1/8 inches / 30 by 18 cm signed and dated Collections Private Collection, Europe

Untitled (Man Woman), 1963, is a study for a large-scale canvas, with the same name, in the Tate Gallery’s collection. In a letter written to the Tate, Jones explained that this larger version was, ‘an early example of a favourite theme – the intermingling of the sexes. Others are “Dame with the Head and Legs”, “Hermaphrodite” and “Concerning Marriages” […] In fact none of these figures were ever truly hermaphrodites, although the idea of the completely independent sex did lend itself to the true meaning of this series of work […] This was meant to be a visual parallel to Nietzsche’s concept of Creativity as spoken by Zarathustra, the idea that creativity consisted of a perfect marriage between the masculine and feminine aspects within us, masculine (action) feminine (creation).’ 1 The genesis for this series came from Jones’ reading of Nietzsche and Jung. As such, Marco Livingstone explains that all of Jones’ images of fused figures can be understood as metaphorical self-portraits. Here, the distinctive hairline, thin nose and strong bone structure of the male figure all indicate that this is a picture of Jones himself. The face is similar to that found in Jones’ selfportrait, Interesting Journey, 1962 and this man appears in several other paintings, such as Reflected Man, 1963, his eyes ‘on stalks’ peering around at the world. The vibrant, discordant colours of this study reinforce the dynamic (sexual) energy of the subject. An admirer of Delaunay, Klee and Kandinsky, Jones’ early palette borrowed from these modern masters, but his colours were also derived from packaging, maps and military medals. Jones takes pleasure in describing the figures’ clothes, the man’s green spotted tie acting as a bridge between the torsos of the two figures. If the male figure is Jones himself, the female figure is more anonymous, she is the idea of a woman, defined by a lascivious mouth and Mae West hair. Untitled (Man Woman) predates the more overt, sexual imagery Jones would explore later in the 1960s. However, many of the themes here, the fusion of human figures, the use of decorative colour and the preoccupation with dynamic movement have continued to preoccupy Jones throughout his career. 1 Published in Tate Gallery: Acquisitions 1968–9, London 1969


Allen Jones b.1937 Three in One, 1971 pencil and hand-sprayed acrylic on paper 31 by 21 1/2 inches / 78.7 by 54.5 cm Collections The Artist Private Collection, UK, acquired from the above

‘The work of the second half of the 1960s and the early 1970s, including the furniture pieces, was a kind of learning process, of how to use the grammar from commercial imagery that dealt with the figure in an obsessive way, outside the umbrella of fine art. There was something very exciting and fresh about that and it was a way of re-presenting the figure.’ 1. The title Three in One, 1971 refers to a style of underwear that was advertised in the American mail order catalogue Frederick’s of Hollywood. Frederick’s depicted their products using stylised line drawings and Jones was fascinated by the exaggerated female bodies in these illustrations, which he appreciated as a unique aesthetic style. In this painting, Jones has simplified the original image to focus on the exposed areas of flesh and the mouth. His use of the commercial artist’s spray painting technique adds to the impression that the woman’s body is as commodified as the product on sale. The appropriation of popular imagery, combined with a flat graphic technique make this a classic example of British Pop art. In this context, underwear, like art, is shown to be a means of perfecting and abstracting the body. Its purpose is less to support, than to enhance specific eroticised areas, just as a painter might present a figure. Underwear is marketed to women as a way of improving the body – to flatten or add curves in pursuit of an ideal shape. The body is thus depersonalised, and as in art, the image is more important than the reality. Jones has suggested that his representations of the female body are a means through which to explore the various formal languages of fashion, pornography, painting and graphic design. His extensive use of nudity and erotic imagery is both knowingly provocative and ambiguous. He identifies the female body as an object of fantasy and projection, stating, ‘My exaggeration of the female form is for a good reason. The figures of course are not real people, but painted signs and a sign should be clear. My paintings are a manipulation of these signs to arouse various emotions. I am interested in creating a totemic presence. Apart from the female symbols of large breasts, the figures are rather masculine.‘ 2 1 2


Allen Jones quoted in Andrew Lambirth, Allen Jones: Works, Royal Academy of Arts, 2005, p61 Charles Jencks, Victor Arwas, Bryan Robertson, Allen Jones, Academy Editions, Ernst and Sohn, 1993, p39

David Hockney b.1937 Study for Doll Boy (No.2), 1960 oil on board 30 by 20 inches / 76.2 by 50.8 cm signed and dated verso Collections M. Knoedler & Co., New York Carol Christensen Fine Art, Sausalito Private Collection, USA Private Collection, UK Literature Paul Melia and Ulrigh Luckhardt, David Hockney, Paintings, Prestel Verlag, Munich and New York, 2007, fig 18, illus b/w p22 Marco Livingstone, David Hockney, Thames and Hudson, London, 1996 edition, pl 10, illus colour, p22

‘In 1960 for a young art student trying to think of modern art, of the visual art of his time, obviously wanting to be involved in it, the opposition to the figure as a subject was very strong. I opposed it too…Yet obviously I was dying to do it, to come to some terms with the figure.’ 1 From 1959–1962, Hockney studied at the Royal College of Art, where he spent his first year navigating between the two current artistic trends; traditional painting and the abstract painting that had travelled over from America. 2 It was only after meeting fellow student R.B. Kitaj, who encouraged him to focus on personal subjects and to include text as a way of introducing this content, that Hockney began to really develop his own style. Hockney completed a final large-scale version of Doll Boy (Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg) in the late summer of 1960, having produced at least three preparatory works. These were Study for Doll Boy, 1960, chalk on paper, Study for Doll Boy, 1960, oil on canvas (both, Tate Gallery, London) and Study for Doll Boy (No.2), 1960. In Study for Doll Boy, No.2, a hunched male figure struggles under the weight of a large heart beside the text ‘Dollboy.’ The inclusion of a figure signals both a new confidence on the artist’s part to incorporate representational motifs, and a new openness in his approach to themes of homosexual self-oppression, from ‘private messages to open declarations’. 3 The words, such as ‘unorthodox lover’ and ‘Queen’, which appear in the series imply that the figure is the object of the artist’s desire. In the final painting, Hockney intimates, in a coded language borrowed from the American poet Walt Whitman, that the figure is Cliff Richard, who Hockney believed to be gay and on whom he had a crush. The phrase ‘doll boy’ functions both as a term of endearment and as a reference to Richard’s song ‘Living Doll’. Hockney explained, ‘He (Cliff Richard) had a song in which the words were, “She’s a real live walking talking living doll” [sic], and he sang it rather sexily. The title of this painting is based on that line. He’s referring to some girl, so I changed it to a boy.’ 4 1 2 3 4


David Hockney, David Hockney, My Early Years, Nikos Stangos (ed.), Thames and Hudson, London, 1976, p44 In 1956 the Tate held a large exhibition of American Abstract Expressionism, Modern Art in the United States, which was to have a significant influence on contemporary British art. Marco Livingstone, David Hockney, The World of Art Library, Thames and Hudson, 1981, p21 Nikos Stangos (ed.), David Hockney By David Hockney, London 1976, p63

David Hockney b.1937 Cubist Tree, 1965 coloured pencil and graphite on paper 14 by 17 inches / 35.6 by 43.2 cm signed with initials and dated Collections Private Collection, Tokyo Private Collection, UK Exhibited Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, David Hockney: Tekeningen en Etsen, April–May 1966, cat no.36, illus Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, David Hockney: Tableaux et Dessins: Paintings and Drawings, October–December 1974, p49, cat no.46 Wolverhampton Art Gallery, David Hockney: Drawings and Prints, October 1977, cat no.5 New Haven, Yale Center for British Art, David Hockney: Travels with Pen, Pencil and Ink, February–March 1978, cat no.22, touring to: Minneapolis, Institute of Arts; Bloomfield Hills, Cranbrook Academy of Art; Kansas City, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Fine Arts; Washington, D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario; Toledo, Museum of Art; San Francisco, Fine Arts Museum; Denver, Art Museum; New York, Grey Art Gallery and Study Center Sheffield, Graves Art Gallery, Hockney’s Progress: Drawings, Theatre Design, Paintings and Prints, September–October 1980, cat no.52 Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, David Hockney: A Drawing Retrospective, August 1995–April 1996, cat no.34, pp73, 80–81, illus colour, touring to: London, Royal Academy of Arts, 9 November 1995 –28 January 1996 Los Angeles, County Museum of Art, 15 February–28 April 1996 Literature Gene Baro, ‘David Hockney’s Drawings’, Studio, Vol. 171, May 1966, pp184–186, illus David Hockney, 72 Drawings by David Hockney, Viking Press, London and New York, 1971, illus b/w fig 16


The first half of the 1960s was a period of artistic experimentation for David Hockney and the practice of drawing became an important means through which to explore various theories of representation. Hockney began to establish an artistic language which would combine figurative representation with more stylised and gestural mark-making. The motif of the tree appears several times during this period – in California hardly anything, including the trees, were real and Hockney revelled in this artifice. The subject of a specifically ‘Cubist’ tree appears in several paintings including Cubist Boy with Tree, 1964, and Swimming Pool and Garden, Beverly Hills, 1965. In these two works and in Cubist Tree, 1965, Hockney approaches the motif in the same way, forming the trunk out of wonderfully bright, candy-coloured stripes, a formal device which makes the tree appear flattened, highlighting the artifice of the image. Hockney said of Cubist Tree, [it is] ‘a diagram, a way of becoming involved, that’s all really… it isn’t a Cubist tree… [drawings like these are] attempts to get into the argument… it took me a long time.’ 1 Hockney’s concern with formal issues indicates his sophisticated understanding of artistic debate and his wish to challenge the orthodoxies of modernism. The very fact that Hockney’s Cubist tree remains understandable as a tree reflects the extent of his appropriation of modern styles. Cubist techniques of flattening and fragmenting form are used in this drawing, but only as a decorative device. Yet, the artist’s manipulation of formal effects never becomes empty, since it is always balanced by descriptive detail, ‘The trees may be abstractions; their appearance is translated into other terms, but terms that preserve or play upon tree-like qualities. Vital relationships are never destroyed for the sake of a visual trick.’ 2 In many of his drawings from this period, Hockney uses a contrast of techniques, which playfully subverts the traditional division between linear and tonal depiction. In Cubist Tree, Hockney juxtaposes the voluminous leaves, which have been drawn and scribbled-in freehand, with the more ordered and rule-drawn lines of the trunk. Aside from the pleasing aesthetic contrast, this highlights that a tool has been used, a conscious attempt on the part of the artist to ‘depersonalise’ the practice of drawing. 1 Ulrich Luckhardt and Paul Melia, David Hockney, A Drawing Retrospective, Thames and Hudson, London, 1995, p18 2 Ibid

David Hockney b.1937 The Ballroom, Santa Cruz, 1966 pen and ink on paper 9 7/8 by 12 1/4 inches / 25 by 31.1 cm signed with initials, titled and dated October. ‘66 Collections M. Knoedler & Co, New York Waddington Galleries, London Martha Jackson Gallery, New York Waddington Galleries, London Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York Private Collection, UK Private Collection, UK

‘California did affect me very strongly […] as I flew over San Bernardino and looked down – and saw the swimming pools and the houses and everything and the sun, I was more thrilled than I’d ever been arriving at any other city […] For the first time I began to paint the physical look of the place […] The thing is I love glamorous places. I love going to places that have glamour. So any place that’s new for me is good.’ 1 David Hockney made Los Angeles his base throughout the 1960s and he created many of his most iconic paintings there including, California Art Collector, 1964, the swimming pool ‘cycle’, Beverly Hills Housewife, 1966 and American Collectors (Fred and Marcia Weisman), 1968. Before Los Angeles, Hockney would rely on memory and secondary sources for the imagery in his paintings, but after moving to the city he began to draw regularly, recording scenes from his everyday life. As a consequence, his work became far more visual and immediate in its appeal. The Ballroom, Santa Cruz, 1966, presents a highly stylised composition. The subject is inherently ‘modern’ but the style is informed by the simplified, flattened forms Hockney admired in Egyptian and Byzantine art. His ability to interpret styles from different art historical periods allowed Hockney, in his own view, a greater freedom and a richer vocabulary with which to make images. As he explained in 1976, ‘I feel I am an eclectic artist, there’s nothing stopping me now from painting almost anything, even just some stripes if I want, it can all fit in with a view […] there’s great scope for trying now to make the diversity of modernism a synthesis.’ 2 Hockney is a master of pen and ink drawing. The technique requires great dexterity and an intuitive sense of what details to leave in and what to discard. This drawing has the lightness of touch we have come to expect from Hockney and we feel his obvious enjoyment in drawing in the little pair of legs on the beach, the graphic signs and the zig-zagging leaves of the palm trees. The Ballroom, Santa Cruz is both a highly successful synthesis of art historical influences and, at heart, a charming and evocative record of a sunny day in California. 1 2 3


Mark Glazebrook, ‘David Hockney, An Interview,’ David Hockney, Paintings, Prints and Drawings, 1960–1970, exhibition catalogue, The Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1970, p11 David Hockney, David Hockney, My Early Years, ed Nikos Stangos, Thames and Hudson, 1976, p97 Ibid, p130

Allen Jones b.1937 Untitled, 1969 mixed media on paper 11 3/4 by 9 1/8 inches / 30 by 23 cm signed and dated Collections Private Collection, Germany

At Arthur Tooth and Sons in 1970, Allen Jones exhibited a group of three painted fibreglass sculptures – scantily clad women, who were placed in various positions, in the role of furniture. Collectively, Hatstand, Table and Chair, all conceived in 1969, represent the artist’s most radical statement and his name has since become synonymous with these iconic works. Untitled, 1969, is a working drawing for the third sculpture, Chair. The drawing shows a woman lying flat on her back, her upturned legs providing the base for a seat. Its technique reflects the artist’s approach to painting in the late 1960s, his earlier gestural brushstrokes replaced with a more simplified, graphic style borrowed from comic books. The figure would most likely have been drawn from memory, but it is meticulously rendered, showing far more care than would be required for a technical drawing. In the reflective qualities of the glass and the gentle fading of the figure’s hands Jones suggests something more subtle about how his sculpture might look and feel. Jones hired a model maker, Dick Beech of Gems Wax Models, who worked directly from his drawings, producing full-scale clay figures under the artist’s direction. With these works, Jones sought to challenge the viewer’s expectation of what could be considered ‘fine art’ but, even at the end of a decade of sexual revolution, his sculptures were hugely controversial. Jones was criticised for revelling in the exploitation, fetishisation and domestic servility of women, and he found himself at the centre of feminist debate, a controversy which has not diminished with time. In 1986, Chair was on view at the Tate Gallery as part of the exhibition Forty Years of Modern Art, 1945–85. It was attacked on International Women’s Day by women armed with acid, melting the face, and nearly two years passed before it was reconstructed. Despite this attack, Jones has continued to assert his links with feminism stating that he has ‘always thought that the tenets of feminism seem to represent an exemplary code of behaviour.’ 1 These sculptures are undoubtedly some of the most recognisable images from the Pop period and this drawing is a rare and important part of their history. 1 Andrew Lambirth, Allen Jones, Works, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005, p28 


Hans Coper 1920–1980 Black Cycladic Bud Pot, c1974 stoneware height 8 1/2 inches / 21.7 cm impressed with artist’s monogram on base unique Collections The Hawley Collection, New York Exhibited New York, Metropolitan Museum, Lucie Rie/Hans Coper, Masterworks by Two British Potters, 15 November 1994 –21 May 1995 Toronto, Gardiner Museum, Ceramic Modernism, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper and Their Legacy, 25 May–2 Septmeber 2002 Literature Tony Birks, Hans Coper, Marston House, Yeovil, 2005, closely comparable examples illus b/w p183

Hans Coper’s last body of work is collectively known as the ‘Cycladic series’. Each distinctive form in the series would typically feature no more than four or five versions. This particular bud pot shape, a globular form rising from a funnel-shaped stem on a cubic base, was one of the very last in this series and few known examples exist. Other recorded bud pots have a white globular form on a black square base and a black form on a grey-green base; here both top and base are glazed a burnished, graphite-like black. This last series is now generally regarded as the culmination and refinement of everything that Coper had achieved in his career, as Tony Birks describes, ‘In this breathtaking collection Hans seems to have carried to the ultimate the purity of form that he had been seeking for so long. The new pots, though small, seem to concentrate energy and to be denser than anything natural. Hans had pursued Mies van de Rohe’s maxim, Less means More, and produced his finest forms.’ 1 Coper left barely any written records but he did write a brief introduction to the catalogue of his exhibition with Peter Collingwood at the V&A, in 1969, in which he explains his approach, ‘My concern is with extracting essence rather than with experiment and exploration, the wheel imposes its economy, dictates limits, provides momentum and continuity.  Concentrating on continuous variations of simple themes I become part of the process; I am learning to operate a sensitive instrument which may be resonant to my experience of existence now – in this fantastic century. Practising a craft with ambiguous reference to purpose and function one has occasion to face absurdity. More than anything, somewhat like a demented piano-tuner, one is trying to approximate a phantom pitch. One is apt to take refuge in pseudo-principles which crumble. Still, the routine of work remains. One deals with the facts.’ 2 1 2


Tony Birks, Hans Coper, Marston House, Yeovil, 2005, p71 Hans Coper, ‘Introduction’, Collingwood/Coper: Rugs and Wall Hangings by Peter Collingwood, Pots by Hans Coper, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1969

Hans Coper 1920–1980 White Cycladic Arrow, c1974 stoneware height 10 7/8 inches / 27.5 cm impressed with artist’s monogram on base unique Collections The Artist Thence by descent The Hawley Collection, New York Exhibited New York, Metropolitan Museum, Lucie Rie/Hans Coper, Masterworks by Two British Potters, 15 November 1994 –21 May 1995 Toronto, Gardiner Museum, Ceramic Modernism, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper and Their Legacy, 25 May–2 September 2002 Literature Tony Birks, Hans Coper, Collins, London 1983, illus p195 shows this pot in profile

Within Hans Coper’s late ‘Cycladic series’, there exist several variations on this arrow form – some have a cuboid base, and others, as here, have a cylindrical base. In this exquisite example the base has a pleasing and unusual, variegated colour. The delicacy and symmetry of the Cycladic forms is testament both to Coper’s unparalleled technical skills and the purity of his artistic vision. These works were thrown on the wheel in two separate pieces, which were fired separately and the tops and bases matched together afterwards. The two parts were joined by a short metal pin which was fixed in place with an epoxy-type glue, mixed with soot to disguise the join. Unlike many potters, Coper did not usually fire his pieces twice, (an initial biscuit firing, followed by a second firing after glazing), rather he would apply slips and make designs directly onto the newly thrown piece. This avoided his adding any extra texture or bulk to the form. Yoshiaki Inui describes how ‘as a result, the pattern is incorporated directly into the body of the work, as though it emerges from the form of the piece itself.’ 1 However, to achieve the deep black we see in Black Cycladic Bud Pot, c1974, Coper needed to apply a glaze in a second stage. This required that he leave a thin, unglazed band, where the piece came in contact with the kiln support, to avoid them sticking together during firing. In some of the black arrow forms, the resulting white band is left showing, in others, it is painted in, using the same soot-blackened epoxy glue Coper used to fix the foot to the base. In 1975 Coper was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. His output had been limited by this debilitating disease for some time, but eventually it became almost impossible for him to work in any volume and he completed his last pieces in early 1977. The largest public collection of Hans Coper’s work is in the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich. The museum acquired the contents of the estate from his widow on the condition that the work would be on permanent display. 1 Introduction to the exhibition catalogue, Hans Coper, Retrospective – Innovation in 20th Century Ceramics, Museum of Ceramic Art Hyogo, 2009, p24


William Turnbull 1922–2012 Venus, 1984 bronze 50 by 17 1/4 by 14 inches / 127 by 43.8 by 35.6 cm stamped with initials, dated and numbered AC/6 Collections Private Collection, UK Literature Amanda A. Davidson, The Sculpture of William Turnbull, Henry Moore Foundation/Lund Humphries, London, 2005, cat no.226, illus b/w

In the late 1970s, after several years of experimentation with minimalism, William Turnbull returned to the figurative, organic forms which he had developed earlier in his career. He began by making numerous small works, modelled in clay, and these developed into a series of larger, human-scale idols, cast in bronze. Turnbull’s later series of totemic figures were clearly influenced by both his minimalist columns and abstract paintings. His new sculptures had smoother surfaces than before and were inscribed with fine marks. He also began experimenting more widely with colour, using patinas in warm browns, greens and blue-greys. The forms are simpler than in earlier sculptures and often they are flatter, presenting a front and back, where earlier works were conceived in the round. The power of these forms lies in their simplicity, which focusses attention on the archetypal as well as symbolic nature of their shapes. Venus, 1984, Queen 1, 1987 (Tate Gallery Collection), Queen 2, 1988, all share the same basic form, and are decorated with rudimentary marks indicating that they are female figures. Roger Bevan likens these simple, flat forms to those of a churinga, an Aboriginal totem, and they are also comparable with both Egyptian schists and various forms found in Cycladic art. David Sylvester however, has noted a more personal resonance in this new form, suggesting that they unconsciously recall the aircraft wings which Turnbull encountered during his four years as a wartime pilot in the RAF. 1 The overall form of Venus was modelled in plaster. As a result, the surface is not completely smooth and, once cast in bronze, has the appearance of weathered stone. The fine lines and indentations Turnbull has inscribed over this base texture suggest anatomical details such as breasts, pudenda, ribs and nose. He has compared these markings to tattoos commenting, ‘from the very beginning of time, people have decorated their bodies. They tattoo themselves, they paint their eyes and lips’ 2. He has also noted their formal function as, ‘a symbolic way of taking your eyes around the sculpture’ 3. Finally, each version of Venus has a unique patination – here it is an earthy orange-brown. 1 2 3


Amanda Davidson, The Sculpture of William Turnbull, Henry Moore Foundation/Lund Humphries, Aldershot, 2005, p62 Ibid, p68 Ibid 

Grayson Perry b.1960 Untitled, 1984 glazed ceramic each, height 15 3/4 inches / 40 cm Collections Private Collection, UK Exhibited London, James Birch Gallery, Grayson Perry – Ceramics and Sculpture, 14 December 1984–20 January 1985 Literature Jackie Klein, Grayson Perry, Thames and Hudson, London, 2009, p29, illus colour

‘These were the very first vases that I made. I created a pair because that’s the cliché of vases: “Oh I have this Ming vase”, “Yes, but if you had the pair it would be worth five times as much!”. They were sold in the first exhibition I had at James Birch’s gallery in December 1984. I did very well at that show; I think it was because people bought the works as Christmas presents. I made the pots from the idea I held of generic vase shapes, rather than by studying particular examples…The imagery was me being an angry punk trying to shock people, so there’s a Valkyrie in a wheelchair with a Swastika wheel decoration, bestial sex and references to drugs alongside Indian erotic miniatures…’ Before these vases, I couldn’t really do sides – I could only do flat plates. It was too difficult to make them stand up. Coiling isn’t tricky, of course – though I’m a lot better at it now’ 1 Grayson Perry began making his first ceramics at evening classes in 1983. Although the technical aspects of the medium were new to him, he quickly incorporated the subjects he had previously been exploring using drawing, collage, film-making and performance into his ceramics. Consequently, these early vases show a surprising confidence and fully realised aesthetic. The techniques of coiling and scraffito seen here have continued to form the basis of his current ceramic work. Perry notes that in the 1960s and 1970s, ceramics was a deeply conservative branch of the arts. Its practitioners invariably drew upon forms and colours found in nature, and much of the work produced was, as he puts it, ‘seedpods and spirals’ 2. By inscribing such transgressive images onto a conventional vase, Perry reinvigorates the medium, whilst simultaneously taking a swipe at its cultural status as a signifier of middle class good taste. All of Perry’s pots tell a specific story – often a complex autobiographical narrative, relating to identity, sexuality, gender and social class. Increasingly, he has combined contemporary references with forms and patterns drawn directly from the history of ceramics, for example from Islamic lustreware and Japanese Satsuma pottery.       1 Grayson Perry in conversation with Jackie Klein, Grayson Perry, Thames and Hudson, London, 2009, p29, illus colour 2 Ibid p17


Grayson Perry b.1960 A Classical Compromise, 1989 glazed earthenware pot with applied moulded vignettes height 17 1/2 inches / 44.5 cm Collections Birch & Conran, London Private Collection, UK, acquired 1989

The shape of this pot is borrowed from 18th Century Staffordshire urns, which feature similar decorative edging, ornamental relief and name plates. These Victorian ceramics were, in turn, inspired by Greek and Roman urns, which is perhaps one explanation for this work’s title. Here, Perry has used coiling, (a relatively crude, but immediate method), to build the basic shape of the pot and the resulting form is pleasingly askew and lumpy. He explains, ‘My manufacture of pots can be at the same time genteel and crude, this persuades the viewer to adopt a frame of mind perhaps at odds with the subject matter. I strive for my own perfection but do not mind my works retaining a naivety and clumsiness’ 1 A Classical Compromise, 1989, is one of Perry’s first pots to feature sprig moulding – a process whereby found objects are pressed into soft clay to make small decorative reliefs, which are then fixed to the body of the pot with a dab of slip. The decorative edging at the shoulder of the pot is made in this way, as are the heads of English monarchs which are spaced evenly around it. On the body of the pot is the head of Jesus and other ornamental emblems, and around the foot is a circle of barbed rose stems and a Harley Davidson winged-skull. These same sprig moulds pop up in other works – the Harley skull acts as the stopper on a perfume bottle and as a decorative handle on a funeral urn in The Ashes of Grayson, 1988. The barbed roses appear on another pot, Y-Fronts and Roses, 1988, where Perry explained they signified ‘the double-edged nature of relationships’. 2 In the late 1980s, Perry began using ready-made, open stock transfers, revelling in their ‘vulgar kitsch’. Here we see sentimental Victorian scenes such as a horse and cart meeting a sailing ship and children skating on a frozen lake, combined with gaudy yellow flowers and Japanese pagodas in ‘oriental’ blue and white. The transfers are crudely integrated into the pot within sombre coloured glazes which are applied in splashy brushstrokes. The overall feel is of a slightly dysfunctional trophy, the various symbols of Englishness tinged with pathos. 1 Grayson Perry, introduction to exhibition catalogue, Birch and Conran 2 Grayson Perry in conversation with Jackie Klein, Grayson Perry, Thames and Hudson, London, 2013, p128


Michael Andrews 1923–1995 Cabin Sketch: I, 1975 acrylic on canvas 9 7/8 by 11 3/4 inches / 25.1 by 29.8 cm Collections Anthony d’Offay, London Colin St John Wilson Private Collection, UK Exhibited London, Hayward Gallery, Michael Andrews, 31 October 1980 –11 January 1981, Arts Council, cat no.95, illus b/w p70, touring to: Edinburgh, Fruit Market Gallery, 24 January–21 February 1981 Manchester, Whitworth Art Gallery, 6 March–20 April 1981 London, Tate Gallery, Michael Andrews, 19 July–7 October 2001, cat no.44, illus colour p106

‘Mike is so economical: he paints nothing but masterpieces.’ Frank Auerbach 1 In the mid-1960s Michael Andrews became interested in the teachings of Buddhism and R. D. Laing’s concept of ‘the skinencapsulated ego’. He had the idea to create a series of paintings which would describe a metaphorical journey of the soul and, around this time, he found an image of a hot air balloon, which became the basis for the series: ‘We dream of flying. Usually there is the sensation of leaving the ground and suddenly acquiring the ability to float over obstacles and keep going, by sheer will and power, across land and sea. It is a common dream – escapism, obviously – reflecting universal aspirations.’ 2 Andrews made seven balloon paintings between 1970 and 1975, entitled the Lights series, and he continued the theme of flight in the large scale oil, Cabin, 1975. Whereas the balloon was a metaphor for the abandonment of ego and spiritual release, here Andrews used the image of a plane in flight to represent a container for the soul. Writing about Andrews, William Feaver notes that planes can be considered as ‘ships of fools: containers of illusions about getting somewhere in life. In this they relate, perceptibly, to disaster movies.’ 3 The image for Cabin was inspired by a drawing by the artist’s daughter, which showed passengers waving out of the windows of an aeroplane. Of all the sketches, Cabin Sketch: 1, 1975, has perhaps the strongest impact and this is due, at least in part, to the expression of the sitter, whose eyes seem oddly blind and yet, at the same time, fixed directly on the viewer. The image is taken from a news photograph of a miner, and the original context, of a man who spends his working life underground and in darkness, clearly adds another layer of meaning to a painting concerned with enlightenment. The formal qualities of the painting, the economical brushwork and strong chiaroscuro, enhance the painting’s psychological drama, recalling the portraiture of Rembrandt. Stripped of any wider narrative, Cabin Sketch: I remains a deeply affecting and atmospheric painting. 1 2 3


Frank Auerbach quoted in the exhibition catalogue Michael Andrews: Lights, British Council, 20 June –1 October 2000, p35 The Artist quoted, ibid, p17 William Feaver and Paul Moorhouse, Michael Andrews, Tate Publishing, London, 2001, p54

Frank Auerbach b.1931 Head of J.Y.M. II, 1985 oil on canvas 24 1/2 by 26 inches / 62.2 by 66.0 cm Collections Marlborough Fine Art, London Private Collection, London, acquired 1987 Richard Green Gallery, London Private Collection, USA, acquired 2004 Private Collection, UK Exhibited London, Marlborough Fine Art, Frank Auerbach, Recent Paintings and Drawings, January–February 1987, cat no.9, illus colour p15 Literature William Feaver, Frank Auerbach, Rizzoli, New York, 2009, cat no.545, illus colour p300

Frank Auerbach first began drawing Juliet Yardley Mills, a professional model, in 1956. She became one of his principal sitters, appearing in oil paintings from 1960 until 1997. Juliet’s poses were often more athletic than other sitters as she was prepared to sit, or lie, for long periods in uncomfortable positions, such as sitting with arms raised above her head. Like all of Auerbach’s subjects, she would keep regimented appointments with the artist, visiting his Camden studio, every Wednesday and Sunday. Catherine Lampert notes the closeness of the relationship between Auerbach and J.Y.M., or as they called one another, Frankie and Jimmie, ‘Often she [J.Y.M.] would sense that Auerbach was depressed, his posture more bent over as he began. She realised that ‘after he stops, he is working in his brain […] we had a wonderful relationship because I thought the world of him and he was very fond of me. There was no sort of romance but we were close. Real friends’ 1 In the early works, J.Y.M. seems very much a model, she is pictured rather anonymously and at some distance but later, the portraits reflect the close relationship between sitter and artist. As Robert Hughes describes: ‘[J.Y.M.] always returns the painter’s gaze: there is a look – head cocked back, sometimes seen a little from below, a bit quizzical, sometimes challenging – that makes them quite recognizable as a series, aspect after aspect of a mutable character with whom Auerbach was intensely engaged’. 2 J.Y.M. II, 1985 is one of a sequence of ten oils painted in 1985–6. Despite the title’s suggestion, this is the third and arguably the most successful version. Here, J.Y.M.’s regal pose is enhanced by the positioning of her head close to the top of the canvas, her upper body forming a triangle which dominates the space. Auerbach’s colours are uncontaminated and the viridian green appears to have come straight from the tube. Throughout, colours have retained their brilliance, giving the surface a lustrous sheen as if it were freshly painted. The almost-black, zig-zagging brushstrokes delineate Juliet’s face, describing the foreshortened angles of her neck and jaw, producing a strikingly powerful image of the head, more sculptural and complete than in other versions. 1 Catherine Lampert intro., Frank Auerbach, Paintings and Drawings 1954–2001, Royal Academy, London, 2001, pp26–7 2 Robert Hughes, Frank Auerbach, Thames and Hudson, London, 1992, p180


Leon Kossoff b.1926 Outside Kilburn Underground March, 1985 oil on board 78 1/8 by 74 1/8 inches / 198.2 by 188 cm Collections Anthony D’Offay, London Private Collection, Australia Exhibited Jerusalem, Israel Museum, British Figurative Painting of the 20th Century, British Council, November 1992–February 1993, illus colour p77

‘London, like the paint I use, seems to be in my bloodstream. It’s always moving, the skies, the streets, the buildings.’ 1 Leon Kossoff has only ever lived and worked in London and he has painted the same areas repeatedly, focusing on places of intense human activity. His art is founded on drawing from life, which he does at different times of day and in all weathers. Once Kossoff has ‘found’ his final drawing, he translates his marks into oil. He explains, ‘…The final painting, the one you see, is made from a drawing made on that day and is about an entirely new experience of the subject.’ 2 Kossoff ’s paintings are often scraped back, to be re-painted again and again, and invariably the final image is the result of a single sitting, which lasts for several hours. He combines his dedication to working from life with the study of paintings by the Old and Modern Masters before him, finding inspiration at the Royal Academy and the National Gallery. From the 1950s, Kossoff has regularly visited the National Gallery in order to study and make drawings of the works of Rembrandt, Poussin, Goya and Velasquez. These artists have had a vital impact on his own paintings which, while deeply contemporary in subject, are monumental in feeling and sentiment. In Outside Kilburn Underground March, 1985, Kossoff transforms an everyday, urban scene into a timeless image of the transitory nature of human life. The subject is approached from a low angle and the perspective is exaggerated, rather like the effect of a wide angle lens. Kossoff ’s figures are in a state of flux, bustling past one another and carrying movement across the picture plane – each of them a part of the mass of human activity and, at the same time, completely alone. Here, thickly worked layers of paint drip freely down the picture’s surface. Kossoff makes no attempt to remove these marks, embracing the unexpected outcomes of this process. The painting is sensuous and tactile and our experience of the work is not only intellectual but also deeply physical. Kossoff describes this element of his artistic process: ‘…moved by unpremeditated visual excitement, the painting, like a flame, flares up in spite of oneself, and, when the sparks begin to fly, you let it be.’ 3 1 2 3


Anders Kold, ‘In the Thick of the Moment’, Leon Kossoff, Selected Paintings and Drawings, 1956–2000, Louisiana Museum of Art exhibition catalogue, 2004, p12 Ibid Simon Wilson, Tate Gallery: An Illustrated Companion, Tate Gallery, London, 1991, p251

Leon Kossoff b.1926 Christ Church, Spitalfields, 1985 charcoal and pastel on paper 29 1/2 by 22 1/8 inches / 75 by 56 cm inscribed verso ‘For Karen with thanks from Leon / Sept 96’ Collections The Artist Karen Wright, gift from the above 1996 Literature Paul Moorhouse, Leon Kossoff, Thames and Hudson, New York /Tate Gallery, London, 1996, fig 46, illus b/w p34

Leon Kossoff grew up in Shoreditch, close to the historic Christ Church, a Baroque building on Commercial Street, built by Nicholas Hawksmoor between 1723–9. Kossoff first drew the church in the 1950s and then once again in the 1970s. In the mid1980s, after reading Peter Ackroyd’s novel Hawksmoor, he began a sequence of drawings which progressed into paintings for the first time, continuing with this subject for the next twenty years. In 1989, Kossoff revealed what had motivated him to depict Christ Church, ‘The urgency that drives me to work is not only to do with the pressure of the accumulation of memories and the unique quality of the subject on this particular day, but also with the awareness that time is so short, that soon the mass of this building will be dwarfed by more looming office blocks and overshadowed, the character of the building will be lost forever, for it is by its monumental flight into unimpeded space that we remember this building.’ 1 Speaking more recently in an interview with Jon Snow and Nicholas Cass, Kossoff described how this motif has allowed him to explore the very essence of painting, ‘It seems to move into space like a great monument. When you look at the Christ Church a whole new world of space is opening up. You experience space and light that you hadn’t before, that is what painting is all about – space and light occupied by human presence.’ 2 Kossoff ’s assertion that the church ‘moves into space’ is revealed in Christ Church, Spitalfields, 1985. Depicted from a low angle, at close range, the church’s spire is cut off and the body of the building towers over us, growing upwards and outwards until it fills the sheet. Kossoff ’s marks are quick and frenetic and the image is reworked in a succession of impulsive strokes. Some drawings of this subject include only the building itself, but here we can make out activity in the foreground as people travel past the church. These figures, like the church, appear to be controlled by a certain energy – their horizontal movement counteracts the vertical force of the building, making us aware of ‘…the mass and weight of the building, its rootedness in the earth, and the lively flow of human life around it.’ 3 1 2 3


Richard Cork, Leon Kossoff, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London, 1996, p33 Leon Kossoff interview with Nicholas Cass and Jon Snow, Channel Four News, 2007 Cork, p34

Frank Auerbach b.1931 The Pillar Box, 2011 oil on board 22 by 22 inches / 55.9 by 55.9 cm Collections Marlborough Fine Art, London Private Collection, Switzerland

The Pillar Box, 2011 describes the intersection of Mornington Street and Mornington Terrace in Camden Town. Frank Auerbach’s studio is situated close by and, since the mid-1960s, his landscape paintings have always featured subjects in, and around, this area of North London. The artist has explained, ‘I haven’t painted [Mornington Crescent] to ally myself with some Camden Town Group, but simply because I feel London is this raw thing […] This extraordinary, marvellously unpainted city where whenever somebody tries to get something going they stop halfway through, and next to it something incongruous occurs […] this higgledy-piggledy mess of a city.’ 1 Auerbach goes out every morning to make drawings, amassing visual notes until a new idea emerges. In his studio, he works from his drawings, but the process is not straightforward and he will often return to re-draw the same scene many times before embarking on a painting. The painting stage is equally intensive, as he builds up layers of paint and scrapes them back down. At some point, Auerbach will conclude that a painting is complete, but after so many incarnations, this final decision feels largely beyond his control. He explains, ‘The picture has its own laws, and when the thing suddenly stands up and you feel, well, there’s this strange thing and I don’t know what I can do about it, I can’t do anything to it, it seems to have a life of its own […] if you’ve painted yourself out of the picture then you leave it because it’s an independent object and there’s nothing you can do with it.’ 2 Here, the composition is structured by frenzied diagonals and verticals that cut across and down the board, marking out certain motifs. The pillar box is defined by blasts of red, pink, orange and purple, whilst further back, one can decipher a house standing against the backdrop of a steely blue and green sky. All of these elements are united by a powerful sense of perspective which governs one’s understanding of the pictorial space. Auerbach’s later paintings are markedly flatter than his earlier oils and are saturated by a wealth of colours which have been laid down and then removed, creating almost translucent layers of paint, as we see in the complex chromatic range present here. 1 Robert Hughes, Frank Auerbach, Thames & Hudson, London, 1990, p162 2 Frank Auerbach in conversation with William Feaver, Frank Auerbach, Rizzoli, New York, 2009, p230


R.B. Kitaj 1932–2007 Los Angeles No.3, 2000 oil on canvas 48 by 48 inches / 121.9 by 121.9 cm Collections The Artist Private Collection, UK, acquired from the above Exhibited London, National Gallery, Kitaj in The Aura of Cézanne and Other Masters, 7 November–10 February 2002, cat no.4, illus colour fig 18 and illus colour back page Literature Marco Livingstone, R.B. Kitaj, Phaidon Press, London, 2010, cat no.790, illus colour full page, pl 235

In 2001, Kitaj embarked on a series of major paintings inspired by Cézanne’s Les Grandes Baigneuses, c.1894–1905, for an exhibition at the National Gallery. 1 These paintings would form part of the artist’s ‘Los Angeles series’ and the present work is the third of eight paintings included in the exhibition. Stylistically, these works mark a huge shift from Kitaj’s stylised pop pictures. He borrows from Cézanne’s watercolour technique, applying thin washes of paint onto the canvas and his handling becomes looser and more expressionistic. The paintings are characterised by wobbly lines and areas of negative space, which Kitaj explained represent Emily Dickinson’s “White Exploit”, her term for death, reflecting the theme of this series. The principal subject of the series is the artist’s late wife, Sandra Fisher, who died suddenly in 1994. Cézanne’s bathers are transformed in Kitaj’s work into an angel and an elderly man, representing Sandra and the artist. Kitaj has commemorated his wife in some of his most powerful works; He and She (The Sickness Unto Death), 1994, She and He (La Vie), 1994 and the installations Sandra 3, 1997 and Sandra 5, 1999. Sandra is transformed into a personal symbol of renewal and resistance and Kitaj writes, ‘Sandra and I became Lovers again […] I could make love to my angel with my paintbrush, fondle her again, caress her contours.’ 2 These paintings are the most intimate of all Kitaj’s work and by virtue of their subject, they are also the most universal. Los Angeles, No.3 depicts the couple facing one another in an unidentifiable setting. Kitaj presents himself aged by his mortality, whilst Sandra is a vision of youth, vitality and beauty. The two figures are joined by large, dark arms that snake across the painting’s surface and it appears as if Sandra is pulling the artist out of his chair, away from a space saturated by death’s white and towards the vibrant plane that she inhabits. The symbolism of this scene, which describes Kitaj’s inability to let go of his late wife, their physical, emotional connection and the colourless void that she has left behind, makes this work one of the most poignant paintings in the series. 1 2


The exhibition is titled, Kitaj In the Aura of Cézanne and Other Masters, National Gallery, 2002 The artist quoted in ‘Los Angeles’, Los Angeles Pictures, R.B. Kitaj exhibition catalogue, LA Louver, California, 2002

Bridget Riley b.1931 February 15’ 89, 1989 gouache on paper 26 by 34 3/8 inches / 66 by 87.2 cm signed, dated and titled Collections The Artist Literature Karsten Schubert, Lynn MacRitchie and Craig Hartley, Bridget Riley, Complete Prints 1962–2001, Ridinghouse, London, cat no.35 the related screenprint, Fête, 1989 illus colour

In the late 1980s, Bridget Riley began to break up the vertical stripe format of her paintings by introducing opposing diagonal forces into her compositions. The irregular parallelogram shapes this produced animated the paintings, disrupting what had become too rigid a format. Where Riley had previously focused on harmonious colour interactions, in these works she deliberately introduced a more contrasting palette, creating a more complex, multi-layered effect. Riley has stated that, ‘If I am outside in nature I do not look for something or at things. I try to absorb sensations without censoring them, without identifying them. I want them to come out through the pores of my eyes, as it were – on a particular level of their own.’ 1 This new technique stemmed, at least in part, from Riley’s trip to Egypt in 1979–80. The vivid colours that she experienced all around her and the brilliant light which invigorated them, had a direct impact on her subsequent work, and back in England she began what is now known as her Egyptian series. Initially, Riley was still using vertical stripes, however, as her colour palette intensified, she developed the diagonal forms, seen in February 15’ 89, in order to explore the new spatial illusions produced by these more elaborate colour combinations. In February 15’ 89 Riley uses fourteen colours, in a complex patchwork of contrasting tones. No one colour dominates, instead, an unstable optical illusion is established in which individual colours recede and spring forward in uneven rhythms, drawing the eye around the composition in random movements. One’s experience of the work is not straightforward or rational, rather the viewer must rely on an instinctual, sensory approach to the image. As Riley has said, ‘The colours of such works are organised on the canvas so that the eye can travel over the surface in a way parallel to the way it moves over nature. It should feel caressed and soothed, experience frictions and ruptures, glide and drift […] One moment there will be nothing to look at and the next second the canvas suddenly seems to refill, to be crowded with visual events.’ 2   1 Bridget Riley, Bridget Riley, Dialogues on Art, Zwemmer, London, 1995, pp79–80 2 Bridget Riley ‘The Pleasures of Sight’, 1984, in The Eye’s Mind: Bridget Riley, Collected Writings 1965–1999, Thames and Hudson, London, 1999, op cit p33


Keith Coventry b.1958 White Abstract (Royal Family), 1994 oil on canvas board in artist’s frame 27 3/4 by 34 inches / 70.5 by 86.3 cm signed and dated verso Collections Private Collection, UK Exhibited London, Karsten Schubert, Keith Coventry, White Abstracts, 1994

In 1994, Keith Coventry began his series of White Abstracts, taking archetypal symbols of British culture – cucumber sandwiches, Winston Churchill, the Royal Family – and rendering them as white monochromes. White Abstract (Royal Family), 1994, is based on an official photograph of the royal wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer. In 1981, this event was broadcast worldwide and garnered huge positive publicity for Britain and the Royal Family. By the time Coventry came to paint his version, the fairy tale wedding had ended in scandal and the romance of this iconic image was irrevocably tarnished. Richard Cork describes another of Coventry’s royal paintings, ‘Pale and vulnerable, the Queen and her family look like spectres attending their own funeral. They hardly exist, and the subjects in the other paintings soon indicate that the artist is concerned throughout the series with Britain at its most hidebound and ceremonial.’ 1 Here, white conveys emptiness and obliteration, a draining away of colour and life from the increasingly obsolescent royals. Because the figures are described in a single colour they are, in effect, more sculpted than painted. Coventry’s brush marks are perfunctory and his technique strangely perverse, even as he paints the images in, they are, simultaneously, being cancelled out. By disguising figurative images within an apparently abstract surface, Coventry subverts the language of early Modernism. Seen from far away, these paintings appear pure, like a Malevich or a Ryman, but up close they present a ghostly image which is hard to make out. In his White Abstracts, Estate Paintings and bronze sculptures, Coventry pinpoints subjects which are peculiar to the present day, drawing our attention to things which might ordinarily be overlooked. Many of his subjects are steeped in pathos: broken windows, decapitated artworks, defunct council estates and out-of-date royals, an effect which is offset by their absurdist humour. In the more recent series, Junk Paintings, Coventry turns his attention to corporate culture, enlarging and abstracting McDonald’s logos to look like Suprematist paintings. A number of White Abstracts were exhibited in the infamous Sensation exhibition held at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1997 and in Brit Art 5 at the Saatchi Gallery in 2006. White Abstract (Two Coldstream Guardsmen), 1994 is in the Government Art Collection. 1 Richard Cork, Breaking Down the Barriers: Art in the 1990s, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2002, p114


Keith Coventry b.1958 Wenlake Estate, 1994 oil on canvas, wood, gesso, and glass 48 3/8 by 38 1/4 inches / 122.9 by 97.2 cm Collections The Artist

At first sight, Keith Coventry’s Estate Paintings resemble the abstract oils of Russian Suprematist Kazimir Malevich or perhaps the Dutch Modernist Piet Mondrian. Closer inspection reveals that the geometric patterns in these paintings are in fact taken directly from the utilitarian notice boards which are invariably found at the entrance to London’s council estates and which indicate the layout of flats using a simplified aerial plan. Coventry has painted over a hundred different Estate Paintings, each of which are presented in a box frame made by the artist, with a museum style caption fixed to the frame’s bottom edge. He subverts both the language of high Modernism, and the reserved status of the museum object, highlighting the wide gap which exists between these often neglected estates and the utopian ideals of their original Modernist architects. Coventry began this series in the mid-1990s and since then many of the estates in his paintings have been demolished, or are under threat of demolition. The Wenlake Estate, in Old Street, however, remains standing and has recently been refurbished. Reference to the current estate map shows that Coventry has transcribed the layout quite faithfully, slightly rotating the image, but only making very minor simplifications to the shape of the blocks. As such, he treats each estate map as an object trouvé, clearly amused to find an underlying formal beauty in such a prosaic source. Since the 1990s, Coventry has employed the tropes of Modern painting to comment ironically on the realities of contemporary city life. Two paintings from this series East Street Estate, 1994 and Heygate Estate, 1995 are in the collection of the Tate Gallery, London. Demolition of the Heygate Estate began in 2011, but redevelopment has not been without controversy. Some residents, many of them elderly, campaigned to stay in their homes with a determined few occupying the buildings of this and the neighbouring Aylesbury Estate.


William Turnbull 1922–2012 Horse 3, 2000 bronze 31 1/2 by 7 1/8 by 43 3/4 inches / 80 by 17.8 by 111 cm inscribed with artist’s monogram and edition no.2/6 Collections The Artist Exhibited London, Waddington Galleries, William Turnbull: Horses – Development of a Theme, 22 June–20 July 2001, cat no.11, illus colour, another cast Literature Amanda A. Davidson, The Sculpture of William Turnbull, Henry Moore Foundation/Lund Humphries, Aldershot, 2005, cat no.304, illus p191, another cast

Turnbull’s second recorded sculpture, Horse, 1946, was made whilst he was still a student at the Slade School of Fine Art. Turnbull would often visit the British Museum and the horse’s strong profile and arched neck had its roots in the classical Greek sculptures found there. Amanda Davidson also identifies a Cubist influence in this early work, describing how Turnbull has formed ‘…a horse’s head from a series of interlocking planes, both three-dimensional, flattened and frontal, exploring Cubist ideas of simplifying subjects to elemental shapes in a sculptural form…’ 1 By 1948, Turnbull was working in Paris. Keen to distance himself from Cubism, his new sculptures were formed from spindly, metal armatures, roughly covered in plaster and cast in bronze, as we see in Horse, 1950, (Tate Gallery, London). Back in London, in 1954, Turnbull modelled a further Horse (also Tate Gallery, London), which portrayed only the head and neck, balanced at two points on the ground. Like the 1946 sculpture, this bronze had a primitive style, found in both early African wood carvings and ancient Greek masks. Turnbull’s decision not to sculpt the entire body was inspired by African sculpture, in which, ‘the part can represent the whole…you can feel the whole animal is in that one component’, in such works, ‘you didn’t feel the rest of the horse is missing.’ 2 After 1987, subsequent variations focus solely on the horse’s head and neck. In Horse 1, 2, 3 and 5, 1987, the horse’s eyes have become enlarged holes and the neck graduates towards a single, curved line. In 1990 and 1999, Turnbull produced outdoor versions, measuring nearly 3 metres and 2 metres in height. In 1994 and 1995 there are versions where the head extends over the plinth and in 2000, the head is raised off the ground. Horse 2 and Horse 3, both 2000, are the very last examples, in which the head is reduced to its most abstract and linear form, recalling the shape of Stone Age adzes. In Horse 3, it is remarkable how the coiled up energy of the horse’s neck is still present in this radically reduced and abstracted form. The magnificent power of the animal and its associations with war, history and mythology, make it a natural subject for a sculptor whose work is both timeless and at the same time astonishingly modern. 1. Amanda Davidson, The Sculpture of William Turnbull, Henry Moore Foundation/Lund Humphries, Aldershot, 2005, p12 2. Ibid p29


Anthony Caro 1924–2013 Writing Piece: His, 1979 steel rusted, varnished, and painted parts 12 by 18 by 7 inches / 30.5 by 45.7 by 17.8 cm unique Collections André Emmerich, New York Private Collection, USA Literature Dieter Blume, Anthony Caro, Catalogue Raisonné Volume II, Verlag Galerie Wentzel, Köln, cat no.521, illus b/w p24 and p127

Anthony Caro began making Table Piece sculptures in the mid1960s. Intentionally kept to a human scale, the smaller Writing Pieces offered Caro the opportunity to work swiftly and alone. In his introduction to Caro: Close Up, Julius Bryant describes the more intimate nature of these works, ‘His smaller works can be more like whispers, soliciting a contemplative response from the viewer, rather than public statements. They retain the scale of the artist’s hands; they are made from a greater variety of materials and in a spirit of personal experiment […] As intimate forms they have less impact as images when seen from afar, and they invite close study. In a gallery or museum only one or two viewers can look at them at once. As with master drawings, the experience is solitary and private, almost as if one owns the object.’ 1 By the early 1970s, Caro’s Table and Writing Pieces became increasingly innovative, as he began to extend sculptures away from their supports and out into the surrounding space. The mediating nature of the table surface became a platform for new expressive opportunities and this is reflected in the sculptures’ allusory titles – Tiger, Turn Again, Bells. Writing Piece ‘His’, 1979, contains a clamp, parts from two spanners and a wooden handled tool, assembled together with pieces of scrap metal. There is an enjoyable arrangement of colours – a steely grey and bright red having been painted on, to contrast with the untreated metal. The individual elements are stacked vertically within a relatively narrow plane, suggesting a frontal reading. The combination of flat coloured areas, and the framing of negative space with dark grey ‘lines’, invites the viewer to read the sculpture as one might an abstract painting. Caro favours an exploration of line and colour in space over the representation of volume and the work retains the spontaneity of a drawing. The Tate Gallery holds two closely comparable works, the recently acquired Writing Piece ‘Other’, 1979 and Table Piece CCLXVI, 1975. Caro’s experimentation within an abstract sculptural language marked a radical moment in British sculpture and his teaching at the Royal College of Art helped produce a new wave of abstract sculptors, among them Richard Deacon, Tony Cragg and Alison Wilding. 1 Julius Bryant and Martina Droth, Caro: Close Up, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2012, p1


Tony Bevan b.1951 Table Top, 2009 acrylic and charcoal on canvas 56 1/8 by 61 inches / 142.3 by 154.95 cm signed verso with artist’s ref PC 095 Collections Private Collection, Australia

Tony Bevan began painting towers and table top configurations in 2003. In some paintings, furniture and objects are stacked up like totems and, in others, as here, they are scattered laterally across a tabletop. These works are suggestive of cityscapes, but are also connected to the history of still life painting, a tradition extending from the Dutch Old Masters to Cézanne and Morandi. Sue Hubbard describes a similar tabletop painting in which, ‘the studio objects have been pared down to the bone, so that the whole resembles, on its spindly legs, a citadel of pagodas and towers, a city of the imagination such as might have been conjured by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. Its nervy lines also recall something of Giacometti’s Apple on the Sideboard, 1937, with its edgy contrasts of black and white.’ 1 While these paintings marked a new direction, it is clear that all of Bevan’s subjects – heads, figures, tabletops, interiors, stones and trees – are indivisibly linked. A photo of the artist’s Deptford studio, taken in 1998, illustrates these connections. 2 It shows fourteen paintings pinned together on one wall. Scanning across the canvases, we see Bevan’s heads becoming increasingly abstracted, the crystalline faces, composed entirely from straight lines, are almost indistinguishable from the criss-crossing beams in adjacent paintings of rafters. Another painting from this period Head Horizon, 1998, shows an isolated head resting on a tabletop, as if it were a piece fruit or other still life object and in the later painting Head and Neck with Tower, 2008, body and tower are combined within one image. Table Top, 2009, presents an open space and the red marks feel akin to mapping, as if Bevan is attempting to plot out a visual, or other sensory, experience. Smears and scatterings of yellow, red, orange and blue pigment add depth to the linear motif and shards of charcoal remain on the surface, adding a temporal dimension to the work. The abrupt changes in direction of the marks suggest scientific images of the body, such as diagrams which record the rapid movements of the eye. Bevan’s marks are quite deliberate but the final image remains fluid and open to interpretation. 1 2


Sue Hubbard, introduction to Tony Bevan New Paintings, Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, 2008, p9 Richard Cork, Tony Bevan, Paintings and Drawings, Michael Hue Williams Fine Art, London, 2000, frontispiece

Tony Bevan b.1951 Red Interior, 2011 charcoal, pigment and acrylic on canvas 108 by 96 inches / 274.3 by 243.8 cm artist’s ref PC114 Collections The Artist Private Collection, UK Exhibited Venice, California, L.A. Louver Gallery, Tony Bevan: Recent Paintings, 6 September–6 October 2012 Literature Hossein Amirsadeghi (ed.), Sanctuary, Britain’s Artists and their Studios, Thames and Hudson, London, 2012, illus colour p169 in a photograph of the artist’s studio

Tony Bevan’s interior paintings typically comprise a single colour – red, orange, cobalt blue, violet or black – on a white ground. Their large scale requires Bevan to work on unstretched canvases placed on the studio floor. He mixes his own paint, applying it thickly, with brushes which have been cut down to stumps. Debris from snapped off bits of charcoal, shadows of earlier drawings and scuffs from his moving around on top of the canvas, remain evident on the picture surface. A recent photograph 1 shows Bevan, midway through painting Red Interior, 2011. He has drawn out the entire image in charcoal and is shown kneeling on a plastic sheet in the process of covering over the charcoal lines with a single pot of red paint. ‘I tend to work on the floor, sometimes on the wall and then on the floor. It’s constant movement between the vertical and the horizontal’ 2 ‘I need that contact, to be physically close to them […] I can’t feel over-awed by them when they are on the ground. […] I also need the gravity if I’m trying to build up the thickness […the tradition of floor-based work] doesn’t just go back to Pollock. It’s been done for centuries – as far back as the illuminators of medieval manuscripts’ 3 Bevan’s interiors are a confabulation of spaces, remembered and imagined. The inspiration for Red Interior comes from an industrial building: the glass structure and saw-tooth roof suggest a train shed, or other Victorian building. Bevan has numerous postcards and photographs of historic buildings, tunnels, cathedrals and ancient sites, pinned to his studio walls. However, he explains to Richard Cork that another similar painting, Red Interior, 1999, is ‘not a house, or a space, but a place beyond – an area difficult to quantify, almost like the jungle in Conrad.’ 4 Klaus Ottmann has called Bevan’s figure paintings ‘exposed structural portraits’ and he approaches his architectural subjects in the same manner. Here, we are looking up at the skeletal structure of the building. Bevan’s paintings of gloomy corridors, weighty ceilings and cavernous rooms are not intended as portraits of particular places, rather they are manifestations of (Bevan’s own) mental states – suggesting containment, isolation, physical pressure, perceptual distortion and release. 1 2 3 4


Hossein Amirsadeghi (ed.), Sanctuary, Britain’s Artists and their Studios, Thames and Hudson, London, 2012, illus colour p169 Ibid p168 Richard Cork, Tony Bevan, Paintings and Drawings, Michael Hue Williams Fine Art, London, 2000, p21 Ibid, p51

Grayson Perry b.1960 Map of Days (Blue), 2013 coloured etching 43 7/8 by 59 5/8 inches / 111.5 by 151.5 cm signed and numbered 18/20 Collections The Artist

In 2011, Grayson Perry curated a multi-disciplinary exhibition at the British Museum, which included a section devoted to maps. In the catalogue, Perry describes his interest in the subject, ‘Maps that purport to show the geography not of real places but of imaginary lands, feelings or social phenomena have always fascinated me, I think they are very symptomatic of our desire to make sense of the unpredictable and irrational in our lives. As a child I would make maps of my imaginary world and I still enjoy creating them today. Applying such an empirical device to emotive issues in society seems inherently humorous … perhaps someone today should devise a satnav App for moral guidance.’ 1 Map of Days is incredibly detailed and unusually large for an etching, having been composited from four separate plates. It relates to a map of Pilgrim’s Progress by W. Jeffreys from c1800, included in the British Museum show, which depicts comical, imaginary places such as ‘The Slough of Despond’ and the ‘County of Coveting’. A circle in the centre of Perry’s map contains a tiny figure – the artist – and the words ‘A Sense of Self ’. Roads, with names such as ‘Ambition’, ‘Imagination’ and ‘Nepotism’ branch out from the circle, which has a ‘Bright Side’ and a ‘Dark Side’. Perry used the book Lost London, 1870–1945 by Philip Davies as reference for the buildings and their architectural details are faithful to the book’s Edwardian photographs. The world outside the city walls includes a number of hostile places, such as a wood called ‘Fear of the Unknown’ and a mountain range called ‘Paranoia’. Two rivers called ‘Imagination’ and ‘Inspiration’ run down each side of the print. Perry started work on this print on 2 August 2012 and completed it on 19 March 2013. Two portraits within the map refer directly to this time period – one is of cyclist Bradley Wiggins, who won an Olympic gold medal on 1 August 2012, the other is of art critic Robert Hughes, who died five days later. The map contains two further portraits, Perry’s wife Philippa, who is included within the city, and the poet Philip Larkin, whose wellknown 1953 poem Days is referenced in this work’s title. 1 Grayson Perry, The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, British Museum exhibition catalogue, 2011, p119


Offer Waterman & Co Offer Waterman & Co was established in 1996. As dealers and agents in Modern British Art, we handle the finest paintings, drawings and sculpture from the 20th century onwards. The gallery works closely with private, institutional and corporate collectors from across the UK and internationally. In addition to our specialist knowledge of 20th century British art, we have an in-depth understanding of the art market as a whole. Our expertise and experience enables us to assist clients with the acquisition of American and European Modern and Contemporary art. We are always looking to acquire important paintings, drawings and sculpture and will purchase, or consign, directly from private and corporate collectors. We are also interested to hear from current or future collectors and all enquiries are treated in the strictest confidence. In addition to maintaining a wide inventory of 20th century British Art, our services to clients include: Discreet negotiation for both purchase and sale on behalf of private, corporate and institutional collections. Confidential advice on the purchase of art at auction. Valuations for the purpose of sale, insurance, probate, estate and inheritance tax. Advisory work for funding bodies. Curatorial services including: research, cataloguing, conservation, framing, display and lighting advice.

Contact Offer Waterman James Gould Rebecca Beach Polly Checker Grima Quintana Santana

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Opposite David Bomberg 1890–1957 Ronda, 1935 charcoal on paper 25 by 18 1/2 inches / 63.5 by 47 cm signed and dated

Modern British Artists

Adams Aitchison Allen Andrews Armitage Auerbach Bacon Barns-Graham Bell Bevan Blake Blow Bomberg Boyle Family Brown Burra Butler Caro Caulfield Chadwick Clough Collins Coper Craig-Martin Craxton Dalwood

Davie Deacon Denny Dobson Doig Feiler Fell Flanagan Freud Frink Gabo Gaudier-Brzeska Gertler Gilbert and George Gill Ginner Golding Gore Grant Hamilton Hepworth Heron Hitchens Hockney Hodgkin Hoyland

Hume John Jones Kennington Kitaj Kossoff Landy Lanyon Lin Lowry McWilliam Martin Meadows Milow Minton Moore Moss Nash Nevinson Nicholson Ofili Paolozzi Pasmore Penrose Perry Piper

Rego Rie Riley Roberts Scott Scully Self Sickert Smith Spencer Sutherland Tilson Tower Tunnard Turnbull Uglow Vaughan Wadsworth Wallis Whiteread Wilding Willing Wood Wyndham-Lewis Wynter Yeats

Patrick Heron 1920–1999 Christmas Eve, 1951

Kenneth Armitage 1916–2002 Figure Lying on Its Side, 1957

Literature continued The Architectural Review, vol.440, no.657, September 1951, pp206 –208, p208, illus b/w Adrian Lewis, ‘The Fifties 1: British Avant Garde Painting 1945–1956: Part 1’, Artscribe, no.34, March 1982, pp17–33, p29 Tom Cross and Alison Hodge, Painting the Warmth of the Sun: St Ives Artists 1939–1975, Penzance and Lutterworth Press, Guildford, 1984, p92, illus colour p93 pl 55 Peter Fuller, ‘The Innocent Eye?’, Artscribe, no.54, September –October 1985, pp40–44, p41 Vivien Knight, Patrick Heron, John Taylor / Lund Humphries, London, 1988, illus colour pl 11 Mel Gooding, Patrick Heron, Phaidon Press, London, 1994, pp74–75, illus colour p77, detail illus p51 Michael McNay, Patrick Heron, Tate Publishing, St Ives Artists Series, 2002, pp21–24, illus colour p22–23

Exhibited continued London, Barbican Art Gallery, Transition: The London Art Scene in the Fifties, 31 January–14 April 2002, cat no.4, illus p66, another cast Literature Roland Penrose, Kenneth Armitage: Artists of our Time Vol.vii, Bodensee-Verlag, Amriswil, Switzerland, 1960, cat no.19, illus, another cast Charles Spencer, Kenneth Armitage, Academy Editions, London, 1973, illus p9, another cast Tamsyn Woollcombe (ed.) in association with the artist, Kenneth Armitage: Life and Work, Henry Moore Foundation/Lund Humphries, London, 1997, KA67, p144, illus p47, another cast

Please contact the gallery for details of available works. Research Rebecca Beach and Polly Checker Design Richard Ardagh Studio Photography Simon Bevan, Prudence Cuming Associates Printing Hampton Printing Ltd ISBN 978-0-9574188-2-0

Modern British Art 1913-2013 Offer Waterman  

Modern British Art 1913-2013 at Offer Waterman & Co, London

Modern British Art 1913-2013 Offer Waterman  

Modern British Art 1913-2013 at Offer Waterman & Co, London