Catalogue entry

T00568 BROWN, BLACK AND WHITE RELIEF WITH PRISMS 1962

Inscr. ‘G. Wise’ on back of hardboard.
Various types of sheet plastic and two prisms, bolted to a hardboard base and wooden frame, 24×24×3 1/4 (61×61×8·25).
Purchased from the I.C.A. (Grant-in-Aid) 1963.
Exh: Anthony Hill, Gillian Wise, I.C.A., February–March 1963 (21, repr.).

The artist has commented that ‘this work is one of a series (done during a period of about two years) using prisms and it is the one I feel to have been the most resolved in treating the balance between the composition itself and the manipulation of the mirror elements’.

‘Reflections, and the complexity they can create, although it is always the result of a quite lucid sequence of facts, often suggest to me a curiously poetic sensation. Nevertheless this only seems eloquent in a work of art if it is well controlled within a formal concept, in my case a clearly defined tradition of construction that has developed in England over the years since the '30s.’ (Letter of 16 April 1963.)

The prisms originally formed part of periscopes used in submarines, and the artist has incorporated sheets of different types of industrial plastics, e.g. brown tufnel, white perspex and black cobex.

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