T00628 FIGURATION ON WHITE 1963
Canvas, 34 1/4×60 1/8 (87×153).
Purchased from the artist through the Whitechapel Art Gallery 1963.
Exh: Whitechapel Art Gallery, November–December 1963 (114, repr. pl.20).
This painting, the last in the artist's retrospective exhibition of 1963, is one of a number of ‘Figurations’, near-abstract but retaining some reference to the human figure, e.g. ‘Coloured Figuration (Torso)’ 1963 (repr. exh. cat., Whitechapel, 1963, pl.17). However, ‘The closer I look as an isolated act, the more illusory nature becomes. Appearance is purely accidental. Prolonged attachment to and contemplation of a subject leads me to the conclusion that I am not dealing any more with objects but with analogies. I need to break down a separation between myself and the subject. Neither can take place without the presence of the other’ (statement by the artist in Whitechapel exh. cat., 1963, p.10).
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II