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The most persistent motif in Turnbull's work between 1950 and 1957 was the head, which he treated both in two and three dimensions and in relief. This motif permitted direct mark-making without the complications of any search for subject matter. It was a means of combining emotional detachment with material immediacy. Like many of Turnbull's paintings of heads made at the same time this monotype asserts both the flatness of the image and the clarity of each of the individually scored lines by which it is animated.

August 2004