T02389 ROUGEY 1979
Inscribed ‘William Henderson/“Rougey” 1979’ on back
Acrylic on cotton duck, 69 × 57 1/4 (175.2 × 145.4)
Purchased from the artist through the Ian Birksted Gallery (Knapping Fund) 1979
Exh: Hayward Annual 1979, Hayward Gallery, July–August 1979 (50)
In 1967 William Henderson started to execute paintings using grids in the imagery, in which the paint was applied relatively thickly, marks being built up on marks. Grids became increasingly important in his work until about 1976 when the verticals and horizontals of the grids began to become less formal and measured and oblique lines were introduced. In these works the paint was applied more thinly, using heightened, even strident colours and there was a return to illusory pictorial space in the paintings. Henderson made parallel bands of different colours by loading the brush with more than one colour. This method was the most direct way the artist could think of for applying bands of several colours at once. Since 1976 the number of parallel bars of colour in each of Henderson's paintings have become fewer and illusory pictorial space has become more dominating. Henderson sees such paintings as being somewhat analogous to non-specific musical improvisations.
‘Rougey’ was painted in the artist's studio in Brixton in late February and March 1979. The works painted immediately before and after ‘Rougey’ were, respectively, ‘Gjalla’ (Coll: Arts Council) and ‘Gjalla No.2’ (Coll: Contemporary Art Society).
This catalogue entry is based on a conversation with the artist (18 December 1979) and has been approved by him.
The Tate Gallery 1978-80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981