Tom Phillips b. 1937
T01327 Benches 1970–71
Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 108¿ (122 x 275).
Purchased from the artist through Angela Flowers Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1971.
Exh: Angela Flowers Gallery, October 1971 (no number, repr.).
Repr: Richard Morphet, ‘Commentary’, in Studio International, CLXXX1I, 1971, p. 198, as ‘Benches I, II, III’.
The painting comprises three canvases, each 48 x 36 (122 x 91.4), separated by small gaps of equal width. The following notes are based on a fifty-page account of the origins and intentions of T01327 (including photographs and diagrams) prepared by the artist in 1971 in three copies, one of which is in the Tate Gallery.
The artist chose the images for the three panels from picture postcards which either he had purchased or had been sent to him. The images of the left and right canvases come from two postcards, taken on different occasions, of the same location in Battersea Park, London; the six images on the central panel are of six different British parks. The common feature of all the scenes is a park bench, and the general theme of the picture is mortality…