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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