John WellsSea Bird Forms 1951

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Artwork details

Artist
John Wells (1907‑2000)
Title
Sea Bird Forms
Date 1951
MediumOil paint on board
Dimensionssupport: 431 x 493 mm frame: 546 x 605 x 48 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Bequeathed by Miss E.M. Hodgkins 1977
Reference
T02230
Not on display

Catalogue entry

John Wellsborn 1907

T02230 Sea-Bird Forms 1951

Oil on board 431 x 493 (17 1/2 x 19 7/16)

Inscribed on back in pencil on three areas of rubbed paint over obscured painting: 'SEA-BIRD-FORMS 1951 | 11' t.l., 'John Wells | Anchor Studio | Trewarveneth | Newlyn' centre, '25 gns' b.l., and possibly in another hand, 'Mrs. Hodgkins | Hedlands Road [sic] | C. Bay' b.r.

Bequeathed by Miss. E. M.Hodgkins 1977

Though visible pencil lines show that the design of Sea-Bird Formswas carefully delineated before painting, the artist has said that he developed the forms in the course of painting. This is borne out by further pencil lines which have clearly been applied over the paint. Like Aspiring Forms(qv), the composition is based upon a Golden Section grid. For example, the most prominent vertical division and the horizon-like line make a Golden Section in each dimension. A series of diagonals are generated from the points at which those divisions cross the bottom and left-hand edges of the board, becoming further elements in the composition. The parabolic form which dominates the painting is a common feature in Wells's work and one which the artist associated with Naum Gabo… (read more)

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