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This archetypal social realist picture is a modern still life. In place of the abundant natural produce traditionally found in still lifes, Bratby presents the modern kitchen with all its contraptions and processed foodstuffs. The bright colours and thick, clotted paint give these everyday objects an emphatic physical presence which verges on the three-dimensional.

The critic David Sylvester famously dismissed such pictures of domestic interiors as ‘kitchen sink’ painting. The label has also been applied to work by Derrick Greaves, Edward Middleditch, Jack Smith, and to a certain extent Peter Coker.

September 2004