Catalogue entry

T00631 LINES IN SPACE 1954

Inscr. on label on back of support, ‘Lines in Space No.34. Eight angles in grey and red thread, and a curved wire line from left to right’ and ‘Paule Vézelay, 1954’.
Wire and thread stretched over cardboard, set in balsa wood case, 14 3/8×17 1/2×1 1/2 (36·5×44·5×4).
Purchased from the artist (Grant-in-Aid) 1963.

The artist first began to make constructions with stretched threads, curved wire and collage in 1935, and these were shown under the title Recherches en Trois Dimensions, tableaux de Fils et Ficelles tendus, at the Galerie Jeanne Bucher, Paris, 1936. In a letter to the compiler the artist wrote (5 January 1964): 'Most lines are used merely as useful symbols of one or another sort, while some are meaningless marks made in idleness, but when lines are drawn by a skilled and sensitive artist they are sometimes imbued with an almost celestial quality which miraculously endows them with “Life”. Such Living Lines are rare and can only be created with infinite patience and a passionate desire to make the hand the servant of the Spirit.... So it was that with stretched threads and curved wires I had my two lines, the Straight Line and the Curved Line, composed in the element of Space.

'My Lines in Space created a third element by casting their shadows, and these changing delicate echoes seemed to add depth and light and beauty to the whole construction; they had, as all shadows have for me, a quality of Magic.

'It is now almost thirty years since I began to make these simple experiments; modest as they were they became more varied as the years went by; they have already been widely exploited by others....’

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II