Catalogue entry

Sir Lawrence Gowing 1918-1991

T00719 Wood: Parabolic Perspective 1963

Not inscribed.
Oil on wood, 45¼ x 52¼ (115 x 133).
Purchased from the artist through Marlborough Fine Art Ltd. (Grant-in-Aid) 1965.
Exh: Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., January 1965 (25, repr.).

Adrian Stokes wrote as follows in the catalogue of the above exhibition: ‘The subjects of these paintings are from Lambourn where the artist lives. He presents a green land by methods that have evolved, as the exhibition clearly shows, from naturalism to an individual cast of abstraction. All the paintings were done from the motif: even in abstraction they owe their quality to the subtle, renewable responses of one of the best naturalistic painters of our time. It is as if foliage with the sun upon it can be represented justly in the guise of a cascade of emerald sovereigns, or as if greens, divided into blues and yellows, always re-form since, as well as the impact of a pictorial conception, we have indications of forest and field conveyed by regular layers: in Gowing’s hands, uniformity of design somewhat avoids the suggestion of a gesture or of any conceptual extravagance imposed on the canvas without constant meditation from Nature between a respectful artist and his surface… Several complete abstracts combine a hard-edge pattern with a silky surface of varying golden colours on varying blues that serve the caressing, the sparing pressure, in experiences of leaf and light (No. 25), both vivid and soft.’

The artist has added (letter 17 March 1965) that there is another version of the design, rather larger (48 x 56), painted in 1964–65 and now in the collection of the British Petroleum Company.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1964–1965, London 1966.