Catalogue entry

T03293 LITTORAL 1980

Inscribed on reverse ‘William Johnstone 1980 LITTORAL’
Oil on canvas, 66 × 78 (168 × 198)
Purchased from the artist (Grant-in-Aid) 1981
Exh: William Johnstone, Hayward Gallery, February–March 1981 (107, repr.)

'Littoral’ was the latest painting included in the artist's retrospective exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in 1981. The paintings of the later 1970s were the most freely executed of his whole career, and were painted flat on the studio floor. The titles were given after they were made and do not refer specifically to the subject.

In a conversation recorded at the Tate Gallery on 18 September 1981 the artist connected with this painting his childhood memories of watching the shadows of clouds moving across hills, and wrote on 29 September ‘“Littoral” is, I think, an expression of life, a joy in being alive’.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984