Craigie Aitchison

Model Standing against Blue Wall

1962

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 660 x 559 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1964
Reference
T00712

Display caption

This is one of a number of paintings that Aitchison made of the same model, Georgeous Macaulay, in the 1960s and 1970s. Here he is seen at a distance, dominated by the abstracted background colour. The painter Helen Lessore has commented that Aitchison's paintings are often 'conceived from the first purely visually - as ideas of colour, proportion, shape and space', although he himself points out that they 'are always of something; they're not just "planes of colour" or anything posh like that.' Aitchison often paints West Indian and African sitters, as he likes the way their warmer skin tones reflect.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

Craigie Aitchison 1926-2009

T00712 Model Standing Against Blue Wall 1962

Not inscribed.
Canvas, 26 x 22 (66 x 56).
Purchased from the Beaux Arts Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1964.
Exh: Beaux Arts Gallery, January–February 1964 (6, repr.).
Repr: Arts Review, XV, January 11-25, 1964, p. 12.

The artist wrote (1 January 1965): ‘It was the second painting I did of Mr. Georgeous Macaulay. I have done four in all, the first three were of him standing, the third was of him standing with a crucifix, the fourth was a portrait, head and shoulders, and all were exhibited in 1964 at my exhibition in the Beaux Arts Gallery; at present I am painting a portrait of him. I came to live in London properly in 1961 from Kincardine-on-Forth, Clackmannanshire, Scotland, where it was difficult to get a model as it was away in the country, and I wanted to paint from the model when I came here; in Tulliallan, Kincardine-on-Forth I had painted gardens and trees and fields.’

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1964–1965, London 1966.

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