Robyn Denny

First Light

1965–6

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 2438 x 1981 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1968
Reference
T01039

Display caption

During the early 1960s Denny began to make large paintings using architectural forms arranged around a vertical axis. First Light, like many of Denny’s paintings from this period, has a still, meditative quality.

The large rectangular shape resembles a doorway and appears to be an invitation for the viewer to enter. But at the same time, the flat areas of colour and the shallow pictorial space of the background lend the painting a feeling of impenetrability.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

Robyn Denny b.1930

T01039 First Light 1965–6

Inscribed on stretcher, ‘Robyn Denny 1965–66 8’ x 6’ 6” ’.
Oil on canvas, 96 x 78 (244 x 198).
Purchased from the Kasmin Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1967.
Coll: Sold by the Kasmin Gallery to David Thompson but returned because it was too large for his rooms.
Exh: Venice Biennale, 1966 (British Pavilion, 20, repr. in colour) and European tour; Four Young English Painters, Kunsthalle, Mannheim, December 1966–January 1967 (19 repr. in colour, as coll. David Thompson); Kunsthalle, Berne, February 1967 (18, repr. in colour); Boymans-van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam, April-May 1967 (17, repr. in colour); Kasmin Gallery, June 1967 (no number); John Moores Exhibition, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, November 1967–January 1968 (63).
Repr: Studio International, CLXXI, June 1966, p. 240 (in colour); London Magazine, VI, June 1966, between pp. 56 and 57.

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

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