Prunella Clough

Wire and Demolition

1982

On display at Tate Britain

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1520 x 1670 mm
frame: 1548 x 1702 x 38 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1982
Reference
T03451

Display caption

In an interview in 1982 Prunella Clough described her work in terms of urban landscape, particularly the light industrial estates of London; the titles of Clough’s paintings in the early 1980s often refer to gates, fences and wire. Paintings such as this were often inspired by the sight of incidental objects that the artist spotted, such as a piece of old wire on a building site. Any reference is from memory as Clough did not make sketches on location.

Gallery label, September 2016

Catalogue entry

T03451 WIRE AND DEMOLITION 1982

Oil on canvas 60 × 65 3/4 (1520 × 1670)
Inscribed ‘↑ Clough’ on reverse
Purchased from the artist (Grant-in-Aid) 1982
Exh: Prunella Clough, New Paintings, 1979–82, Warwick Arts Trust, April–May 1982 (62, repr.); Prunella Clough, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, May–July 1982 (no catalogue)

The artist's interview (1982) with Bryan Robertson was printed as the introduction to the Warwick Arts Trust catalogue. In this she describes her work in terms of urban landscape, particularly the light industrial estates of London. Subjects are not sketched on the spot, and any reference to real places is from memory. Four of the artist's photographs of such areas, of gates, a door and a wall, were published in this catalogue, not for any direct connection with particular paintings, but as a demonstration of a way of looking at such scenes in the terms of her abstract paintings.

The titles of Clough's paintings of 1980–1 often refer to gates, fences, wire mesh and wire. The surface of ‘Yellow Mesh’ includes particles of dust (identified by the artist as either ash or silver sand) mixed with the paint.

The canvas is partly painted on the reverse.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986