T00477 SKYWARDS 1961
Inscr. on the back ‘Michael Fussell’ and ‘Skywards’.
Paper laid on canvas, 12×12 (35×35), mounted on board, 18×18 (46×46).
Purchased from the Hanover Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1962.
Exh: Hanover Gallery, January–February 1962 (not in catalogue).
In reply to an inquiry about the technique and subject of his painting the artist wrote (26 March 1962):
'The paper is a highly absorbent tissue and is thoroughly soaked in paint first and then manipulated on the canvas. When dry there is a considerable amount of painting over the top - as in the case of “Skywards” which took rather a long time to do.
'With regard to the idea or title of “Skywards”, it is, like most of my work an image of the sea, though oblique and evocative in intent rather than figurative and is concerned with such things as the relationship between sea and sky - the movement of water and air and the kind of spatial relationships resulting from a mingling of these elements into one condensed image.
'In this particular painting I was also concerned with sensations connected with a form floating whilst at the same time remaining an image of the sea. There is a larger, all-white version of the same subject called ‘Like Many Waters’ which was in the show at the Hanover [No.13, repr.].
'I began working in this technique towards the end of 1960 and it was the outcome of a series of very pale yellow, blue and white pictures extremely thickly painted. As I could not then push this method any further I found it necessary to extend my technique with new materials in order to extend the meaning of the image and to obtain a new series of spatial relationships.
‘Lastly, I am more than anything else concerned with light and this is perhaps the true subject of all my work.’
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I