John Golding 1929-2012
T01857 CV 1973
Inscribed ‘Golding CV—73’ on reverse.
Acrylic on cotton duck, 84 x 120 (213.5 x 305).
Purchased from the Rowan Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1973.
Exh: Rowan Gallery, March–April 1974.
The following information was given to the compiler in two letters from the artist of 19 May and 18 July, 1974.
When he was preparing for his exhibition at the Holdsworth Fine Art Gallery in Sydney, Australia, in April 1974, the artist decided to be more ‘systematic’ about titling his paintings than hitherto, and finding that his work between 1970 and 1974 fell into three series, he gave each a code letter A, B and C, which was the most recent.
‘“CV” was painted in London [at Stockwell Depot, SW9] and is basically a work of the autumn of 1972; but I went back into it in 1973. There are nine paintings in the series and a couple of smaller spin-offs. I worked on them over a period of two years.
‘The left-hand side of “CV” is very thinly painted in a series of washes that are little more than stains. The right-hand side is built up more elaborately in successive glazes of slightly different colours with a greater admixture of medium. The coloured flares that surround and separate the two shapes were applied with a spatula and some of the paint in them was thickened with colloid. The scale is one on which I feel at home and with which the spectator can identify bodily. The yellow slab I see as being active, the paler square to the right as passive or contemplative. The differentiation in terms of surface quality is deliberate.
‘The large rectangular areas in my painting appeared first of all in 1971, locked in a complex of surrounding architectural elements. When I saw these paintings hanging at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford and subsequently at the Hayward, [October–November 1971 and January 1972 respectively], I felt the need to move up inside them or to eliminate the architectural surround. The rectangular shapes relate to body imagery, I suppose, in that they are elements into which I can project myself; and the spectator, I hope, can identify himself in the same, very total way. The paler, more contemplative areas which appear in all my works I see, in a sense, as blind mirrors. The subliminal bands and the more painterly coloured sparks and flares around the main shapes both unite and separate the large areas and provide the sort of visual and emotional tensions that reinforce their relationships. But I see my paintings as being basically reflective or contemplative.
‘There are no drawings done specifically in connection with “CV”, but there are various related drawings in chalk and mixed media’ (all in private collections).
Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1972–1974, London 1975.