Catalogue entry

Jeremy Moon 1934-1973

T01033 Blue Rose 1967

Inscribed on stretcher Top [with arrow] No. 12/67 86” x 99” –/7/67 J.M. Top [with arrow]’. Acrylic on cotton duck, 86 x 99 (218.5 x 251.5).
Purchased from the artist through the Rowan Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1968.
Exh: Rowan Gallery, February 1968 (no number, repr.), as ‘No.12/67’.
Lit: Charles Harrison, ‘Jeremy Moon’s Recent Paintings’, in Studio International, CLXXV, March 1968, pp. 134–139, repr. p. 137 in colour as ‘No.12 1967’.

Moon has been using shaped canvases since 1964. During 1967 he used first a series of ‘Y’ shaped canvases in the form of a triangle with a square attached to each side; in succeeding paintings the same shape was inverted. The canvas shape used in ‘Blue Rose’ is a truncated version of the inverted ‘Y’. In a statement in Studio International, CLXXIV, September 1967, p. 86, the artist said: ‘Always the problem with the shaped canvases has been that if the outside shape of the painting is too complete in itself it somehow closes off the central arena of the picture, and when that happens it’s no longer painting for me and I’m no longer interested or satisfied... The cut down version of the three joined squares is the best shape I’ve worked with yet. If you could turn a square inside out and still have something to paint on, I feel it might look like this’.

The artist wrote (28 April 1968) that ‘Blue Rose’ was completed in July 1967 and that it was the twelfth completed picture of that year. It was ‘one of five paintings of the same size and shape and part of a bigger series of the same or similar shape but different sizes. By the time “Blue Rose” was painted I had already established the shape and size in preceding pictures and one of the main problems and considerations was the use of 3 colours instead of 2 – with the three colours touching at the centre and each separately occupying the three edges or extremities. I subsequently painted two smaller versions of this picture – in one of which the bands are of varying widths – both were pink, blue, white but having quite a different colour quality from the larger “Blue Rose”. The shape and size having... been established... the only studies were very rough colour drawings in crayon/chalks’.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1967–1968, London 1968.