Prunella Clough

Cooling Tower II

1958

Artist
Prunella Clough 1919–1999
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 968 x 917 x 24 mm
frame: 1185 x 1139 x 70 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1960
Reference
T00376

Not on display

Display caption

One of Britain's most respected post-war painters, Prunella Clough developed a highly personalised visual language that hovered between abstraction and figuration. She frequently depicted urban or industrial motifs derived from her London environment, and she would set these against a soft, indeterminate background. The imposing tower structure of 'Cooling Tower II' has been simplified to its most basic form. It dominates the sky and dwarfs the smaller crane feature sitting to its right. However, the emphatic horizon line, characteristic of CLough's work, checks the overwhelming presence of the tower and balances the painting.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

T00376 COOLING TOWER II 1958
 
Not inscribed.
Canvas, 38×36 (96·5×91·5); an earlier painting on the back has been rubbed over with white paint.
Purchased from the artist through the Whitechapel Art Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1960.
Exh: Whitechapel Art Gallery, September–October 1960 (98).

The picture was painted in London in 1958. At the Whitechapel exhibition there was an earlier ‘Cooling Tower I’, 1957, and drawings of cooling towers dated 1956 and 1957; drawings and photographs of cooling towers were also shown at the Arts Council Drawing Towards Painting exhibition, 1961–2.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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