Catalogue entry

Patrick Caulfield 1936-2005

T00949 Battlements 1967

Inscribed ‘ “Battlements”/Patrick Caulfield/4/67’ on the back.
Canvas, 60 x 108 (152.5 x 274.5).
Purchased from the artist through the Robert Fraser Gallery (Knapping Fund) 1967.
Exh: Studio Marconi, Milan, September 1967 (no numbers); Jeunes Peintres Anglais, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, October 1967 (11, erroneously as oil on paper); Robert Fraser Gallery, November–December 1967 (no numbers, erroneously as oil on hardboard, repr.)

On the back of ‘Battlements’ is the outline of an incomplete painting which would have been virtually identical to ‘Parish Church’. It was abandoned because of a fault in the priming.

‘Battlements’ was painted in April 1967. The artist wrote, in answer to enquiries (28 April 1968): The image is invented. It derives from executing the detail of battlements in the church painting of Stuyvesant collection [the one mentioned above]. I suddenly thought it was a good idea to paint just battlements as I decided to paint just one stained glass window; for a variety of reasons. One only, because it was an unusual subject for a contemporary painting. The convenient way I could simplify (and yet describe) both these subjects does suggest an awareness of simple forms in art today, and that obviously exists with me, as well as being a personal preference. But specific references to Judd or Morris are not made. I became aware of the sculpture (by reproduction) resembling “The Well” after I had painted “The Well”. I am not aware of any particular sculpture resembling “The Battlements”.’

The sculpture by Robert Morris referred to is ‘Untitled 1965’ in the collection of Mr and Mrs John Powers, New York. ‘Parish Church’ and ‘The Well’ are reproduced in the catalogue of the Robert Fraser exhibition.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1967–1968, London 1968.