N06147 SOUVENIR OF SUEZ 1950–3
Inscr. ‘Evans 52.’ b.l.
Canvas, 29×50 (74×127).
Purchased from the Leicester Galleries (Knapping Fund) 1953.
Exh: Leicester Galleries, March 1953 (14).
Repr: Exh. cat., Whitechapel Art Gallery, October–November 1956, pl.15 (not exhibited).
Painted between 1950 and 1953, not on the site but from memories of Suez gained by the artist during his war service with the 8th Army in the Middle East during the 1939–45 war. A compositional study for the painting belongs to the artist.
Two related paintings entitled ‘Wharfside Construction’, painted in 1953 and suggested by the dockside at Southwark, were exhibited at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, October–November 1956 (55, repr. pl.14, and 56). The hooked forms of cranes figure in earlier compositions, as in ‘Conquest of Time’, 1934 (8). In the notes supplied for the catalogue the artist wrote: ‘Earlier, when I was about fifteen and living in Glasgow and wandering about in the shipbuilding yards, I was continually absorbed by the shapes of boats and the stages through which these boats were carried to the perfect functional shape…