Raymond Coxon

Blue Bird

1968

Artist
Raymond Coxon 1896–1997
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1521 x 1013 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1968
Reference
T01062

Not on display

Display caption

Coxon trained at Leeds School of Art and the Royal College of Art, London, where fellow students included his future wife, Edna Ginesi and Henry Moore. Nature has been the enduring subject of his work. Early paintings focused on landscape. Later, his work became less representational and paintings such as 'Blue Bird' depict natural forms dancing in settings of air and water. Using his own drawings from nature he would then, as he wrote in 1968, 'face the problem of contriving the painting in terms of colour and within the battleground of the area of the canvas... In short I am motivated by these beginnings to make a disciplined (but not essentially concordant) marriage between colour and form'.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

Raymond Coxon b.1896
T01062 BLUE BIRD 1968
Inscribed ‘COXON’ b.l.
Canvas, 59 7/8×39 7/8 (152×100·5).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1968.
Exh: R.A., 1968 (440).

The artist wrote (19 January 1969) that his method of working in this and other recent paintings was ‘first to find the shapes in the observation of nature and making drawings, looking for shapes (and their relative positions sometimes). Then, by the time I have forgotten the “venue” of the drawing, perhaps months or a year after making the drawing, I face the problem of contriving the painting in terms of colour and within the battleground of the area of the canvas. I like to find forms which surprise me by their unexpectedness. In short I am motivated by these beginnings to make a disciplined (but not essentially concordant) marriage between colour and form’.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery: Acquisitions 1968-9, London 1969

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