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William Gear spent the late 1940s in Paris. He then used the earth colours and grid-like compositions typical of the School of Paris at that time. This painting shows the new angularity and sharpness that entered his work in the 1950s. It relates to the forms expressing anxiety that emerged in the new British sculpture after the Second World War, seen particularly in the work of Lynn Chadwick, Reg Butler and Kenneth Armitage. This painting also refers to sculpture projects that Gear himself was considering at the time. It was painted in the same year as the Unknown Political Prisoner Competition, won by Reg Butler.

September 2004