Paul Nash 1889-1946
T04161 Landscape at Large
Collage of envelope, pine bark and shale 262 x 377 (25 x 29 3/4)
Inscribed ‘PN' in monogram b.l.
Purchased from the Trustees of the Paul Nash Trust (Grant-in-Aid) 1986
Prov: Margaret Nash, the artist's widow by whom bequeathed to the Trustees of the Paul Nash Trust 1960
Exh: International Surrealist Exhibiton, New Burlington Galleries, June 1936 (245); Watercolours, Drawings, Collages, and Objects by Paul Nash, Redfern Gallery, April-May 1937 (49); Paul Nash. An Exhibition of Applied Design 1908-1942, C.E.M.A. tour, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, April 1943, Museum & Art Gallery, Mansfield, May-June 1943, (gallery not known) Nuneaton, June-July 1943, Public Museum, Luton, July 1943, Art Gallery, Lincoln, July-Aug. 1943, Victoria Institute, Worcester, Sept. 1943, Public Library, Chesterfield, Oct. 1943, Bluecoat Chambers, Liverpool, Nov.-Dec. 1943, Museum & Art Gallery, South Shields, Dec. 1943-Jan. 1944, Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester, Jan. 1944, Museum & Art Gallery, Bristol, Feb. 1944, Municipal Art Gallery, Dudley, March 1944, Art Gallery, Harrogate, April 1944, Art Gallery Perth, May 1944 (40); Paintings, Drawings, and Designs by Paul Nash, Cheltenham Art Gallery, June-July 1945 (54).
Lit: Herbert Read, Paul Nash: A Portfolio of Colour Plates, 1937 (10, repr., as ‘Landscape at Large, Object - Collage 1936'); Andrew Causey, Paul Nash, 1980, p.481, no.1334; Michel Remy, ‘Surrealism's Vertiginous Descent on Britain' in Surrealism in Britain in the Thirties, exh. cat., Leeds City Art Galleries, 1986, pp.42-3
The collage is made from the inside of an envelope (with the embossed address ‘The Times Book Club, 45 Wigmore Street, London W1'), two dark grey pebbles and two pieces of reddish brown bark. These are identified in the Soho Gallery catalogue of 1937 as shale and pine bark, and the illustration shows the collage mounted on plywood with a prominent grain, which no longer exists. The pebbles and the bark are drawn around in pencil, suggesting that Nash marked their places before gluing them. A similar outline of a right angle at the top centre of the paper probably marks the position of another piece which was discarded by the artist.
‘Landscape at Large' is one of a group of landscape collages made by Nash in 1936-8 in which real objects were used pictorially. The Tate Gallery also has ‘Swanage' (c.1936, T01771, made from photographs of objects and watercolour) and ‘In the Marshes' (1938, T02243, made from bark and sticks). From the title it is evident that this one was seen by Nash as an abstract landscape, with the shape of the bark suggesting perspective, and the texture and patterns of the materials making the features. The ‘at large', although not explained by the artist, probably has its usual meaning of either ‘at liberty' or ‘there in complete detail', implying that the objects are standing in for themselves.
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, pp.215-16