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Pasmore originally called this relief Black Abstract – Growing Form, reflecting how its composition, like much of Pasmore’s work, was based on ideas of organic development. The dominant motif is the progressive build-up of black blotches painted directly onto unprimed bare chipboard – the blotches expanding as they extend down from the top edge of the board. Although the idea of progressive development from a single motif can be traced to the influence of Paul Klee (1879–1940), Pasmore had also been engaged by d’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s On Growth and Form: when republished in 1942 it influenced Pasmore and many of his contemporaries.

October 2013