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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.

August 2004