Catalogue entry

Patrick Hughes b. 1937

T01512 Collected Works (part two) 1971

Inscribed on the back ‘Collected Works/(Part Two)/’ Patrick Hughes/1971 Gloss paint (Humbid and Dulux), wood, sand on hardboard, 48 x 80 (122 x 203).
Purchased from the Angela Flowers Gallery (Gytha Trust) 1972.
Exh: John Moores Exhibition, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, May–July 1972 (18).

The artist wrote (7 April 1972): ‘The first “Collected Works” was painted in 1962 and shown in Critic’s Choice at Tooth’s in 1963. It is 36 x 48 in. and in the collection of Mrs Dorothy Morland. It is also known as Top Twenty. It contained twenty pictures painted in the previous two years. They were different in format and size.

‘Collected Works (Part Two) was painted in about six weeks, October to December 1971. Each image is 12 x 16 in., each is landscape in format, there are four horizontal rows of five. It was painted after the opening of my one-man show at the Angela Flowers Gallery in October 1971, a time when one looks back and forward.

‘It is largely composed of what I take to be my best work over the nine years or so, although some were ruled out by the landscape format.’ (The artist has numbered the images from left to right in four rows). ‘Nos. 5, 12, 17 have been adjusted from portrait size to landscape. Some sculptures I have made were also rejected but nos. 4 and 16 were originally 3D, no. 6 is a cut-out meant to lie on the floor, no. 19 was a low relief, nos. 1 and 15 still are low reliefs, and no. 8 was a drawing.

‘With regard to the arrangement: The three keyholes arc kept apart from each other (7, 9, 18). The five with coloured grounds are separated (2, 4, 6, 12, 15). The ones with white grounds are not too much next to each other. The two low reliefs are at the edges and apart (1, 15). The four rooms are apart (2, 5, 8, 18). No. 3 really had to be on the top line, and probably centrally. No. 8 probably had to be central. The black and white ones are separate (1, 7, 18). The three vicious circles are separate (4, 7, 16).

‘Some have been put together on purpose (11 and 16, 15 and 20). Some pictures have just been scaled down (2, 5, 8, 18). All of the other pictures have been altered, in that the image in the middle has been made bigger; with the exception of 4, 6, 16, to which it doesn’t apply. Some have been simplified, partly for practical reasons, i.e. it, 13, 14.

‘The method of painting in every case was to project a slide of the work, from the artist’s archives, on to an appropriate piece of tracing paper, to draw round the projected image, to trace the image onto the board, and then to paint it or make it. This was done by the artist and his assistant, Paul Hammond, who regularly helps in such drudgery. Either the same paints are used as in the originals, or very similar.

‘It was painted to show off the variety of the oeuvre. Because my work has been so consistent in its aim over the years, i.e. to produce paradox, there is a consistency in the variety. The Collected Works also speaks against the uniqueness of things, a particular painting, and for the uniqueness of ideas, a particular image.’

The artist sent a list of the original paintings, sculptures, reliefs, and drawings to which ‘Collected Works (Part Two)’ refers. The list provides the title, size, date of execution, owner, and date of first exhibition. ‘Shown 1963’ refers to his one-man show at the Portal Gallery, ‘shown 1965’ to his one-man show at the Hanover Gallery, ‘shown 1970’, and ‘shown 1971’ (except no. 14) to his one-man shows at the Angela Flowers Gallery. Unless otherwise specified, the works are in gloss paint on hard-board. The list was edited by the compiler and a separate list of comments by the artist on most of the works was incorporated.

  1. ‘The Space Ruler’, 36 x 48 in., 1965, coll. the artist, shown 1965. Paint and wood on hardboard. ‘A ruler to measure illusory space.’
  2. ‘A Green Space in a Brown Room’, 36 x 48 in., 1971, coll. Tony Matthews and Tim Read, shown 1971. ‘Solid space; a lump of light.’
  3. ‘Sky Hook’, 36 x 48 in., 1971, coll. D. and J. de Menil, shown 1971. ‘The question why, a mental hook.’
  4. ‘Up and Over Ouroboros’, approx. 18 x 6 in., 1969, coll. Angela Flowers, shown 1970, gloss paint on ceramic. ‘A version of the ouroboros. In the form of arithmetical infinity.’
  5. ‘“Good painting will be wall-coloured”—Jacques Brunius, 48 x 36 in., 1971, coll. the artist, shown 1971. ‘A picture within a picture, ignoring the infinite regress.’
  6. ‘A Road Accident’, maximum size 48 x 120 in., 1963, coll. the artist, shown 1963. Hardboard cut-out, to lie on the floor. ‘A clown run over by a steam roller. A logical reason for painting a flat picture’.
  7. ‘Vicious Keyhole’, 36 x 48 in., 1967, coll. Rennie Hughes, shown 1970. ‘A vicious circle, solid space, in the shape of a keyhole, engulfs itself’.
  8. ‘Rainbow Coming In’, 20 x 30 in., 1971, coll. Robert Heller, shown 1971. Indian ink and crayon on white card. ‘Optimism’.
  9. ‘Solid Keyhole’, 36 x 48 in., 1966, coll. the artist, shown at Lignano Biennale T968.
  10. ‘A Sunny Day (Pencil in the Sun)’, 36 x 48 in., 1965, coll. Tonv Matthews and Tim Read, shown 1965. ‘A shadow as real as reality’.
  11. ‘Infinity’, 36 x 48 in., 1970, coll. Lord Beaumont of Whitley, shown 1971. ‘Infinity from the other end. Perspective misleads us into thinking that infinity lies at the end of the railway line’.
  12. ‘Peggy on the Line’, 18 x 17 in., 1962, coll. the artist, shown 1963. ‘Standing the peg up on the line gives us the poetry of the tightrope walker and the swallow on the telegraph wire’.
  13. ‘Do You Want To Play The Piano’, 36 x 48 in., 1967, coll. Angela Flowers, shown 1970.
  14. ‘Floral Arithmetic No. 2’, 36 x 48 in., 1970, coll. John Makepeace and Ann Sutton, shown in a mixed exhibition at Angela Flowers Gallery 1971.
  15. ‘The Foot Print’, 36 x 48 in., 1965, coll. the artist, shown 1965. Sand and wood on hardboard. ‘It is interesting to see the heights of masochism and sadism to which people will go to avoid illogic. In defence of rationalism it has been suggested that this simple contradiction is
  16. masochistically, as if one were buried face upwards in sand and someone trod on one’s face
  17. sadistically, as if a one-legged man were buried head down in sand, only the sole of his shoe showing’.
  18. ‘Toy Train’, approx. 18 x 18 x 18 in., 1971, coll. the artist, shown 1971 Gloss painted wood. ‘Another vicious circle. The train pushes or pulls itself to where it is’.
  19. ‘Nothing’, 48 x 36 in., 1966, coll. Mr and Mrs Gillinson, shown in Form and Image, Leeds, 1966. ‘A mixture of languages. What can be said with pictures?’
  20. ‘Catch This Glance’, 36 x 48 in., 1967, coll. Adrian Flowers, shown 1970. ‘The keyhole becomes a sign for looking. A glance is active, its reception passive’.
  21. ‘Dinosaur Jigsaw’, 19 x 22 in., 1964, coll. the artist, not shown. Paper on hardboard.
  22. ‘Clip-Clop, Clip-Clop’, 36 x 48 in., 1965, coll. Molly Parkin, shown 1965.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1970–1972, London 1972.