Gillian Ayres OBE
Break-off 1961

Artwork details

Date 1961
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1524 x 3048 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1973
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1960

Display caption

After 1959, Ayres relied less on pouring and squirting paint directly onto the canvas (as in 'Distillation', shown here). Instead, as here in 'Break-off', she began increasingly to use a brush. In contrast to the all-over fluid surface of 'Distillation', there is a greater sense of order and structure in this later painting. Of this development Ayres observed 'to fill in a square is possibly not so real as to create a shape with a brush'. Her principal concern now became the use of brushwork to create a variety of forms and marks. Space, formal rhythm and colour changes, are all important elements within this changed approach to pictorial structure.

September 2004

About this artwork