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Coldstream wanted to develop a method of painting which objectively recorded the perceived world. This led to a painstaking process of measurement, transcription and slight adjustments. The model for this work sat at least thirty times, for about two hours each.Coldstream rarely considered a work to be definitively finished. His tentative approach is made clear by the fact that his measuring marks remain visible across the surface of the painting, including the model’s skin. This element of doubt and hesitancy was related at the time to existentialist philosophy and had a parallel in the paintings of Alberto Giacometti.

May 2007