Phillip King
Nile 1967

Artwork details

Phillip King born 1934
Date 1967
Medium Plastic laminate and glass reinforced plastic
Dimensions Object: 1829 x 5639 x 3048 mm
Acquisition Presented by Mr and Mrs Jack Steinberg through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1968
Not on display

Display caption

'Nile' reflects King's concern with the expressive possibilities of abstract forms, particularly in regular or rhythmic progressions. A sequence of rectangular planes traverses the spectator's field of vision. This evokes a sense of flow proceeding from warm, advancing red to cool, receding blue. The allusion to river-like movement (hence the title) is continued in the crossed diagonals on the ground. These set up a counter-rhythm, suggesting a river's undertow. Despite these associations, King's principal aim is one of confrontation rather than representation. Thus the work's imposing scale relates to human proportions so that the spectator senses its dynamic presence.

August 2004

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