Not on display

Oil paint on wood
Support: 448 × 606 mm
frame: 506 × 665 × 52 mm
Purchased 1980

Display caption

Dieppe demonstrates Bigge's interest in the marine paintings of Edward Wadsworth which have a sense of the unusual without actually being surreal. The central wall appears like a figure although its geometric nature also recalls machinery. Its enclosure within a sharply receding space is reminiscent of de Chirico's paintings based on the arcaded piazzas of Turin. Bigge wrote in the Unit One book that he had been involved in the 'Surréaliste movement. Its sur-realities seemed then to be more real than the conventional realities of the material world, and seemed to satisfy an internal malaise of the subconscious'.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

T03056 DIEPPE 1931

Inscribed ‘J. Bigge’ b.r.
Oil on plywood, 17 5/8 × 23 7/8 (44.9 × 60.7)
Purchased from Mrs Mary Edwards (Grant-in-Aid) 1980
Prov: Mrs Mary Edwards (the artist's daughter)
Exh: John Bigge, Wertheim Gallery, April 1931 (20); Unit I, Portsmouth City Museum and Art Gallery, May–July 1978 (JB4)
Lit: C.J. Collier, ‘John Bigge’, unpublished article

This painting may be dated by its exhibition in 1931 and by its similarity to ‘Composition’ 1931, illustrated in Herbert Read's Art Now, 1933, pl.113. C.J. Collier points out that in paintings of this date Bigge often depicted architecture that looked like tools or parts of machinery, but the object in the foreground of this work seems to be abstract.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1978-80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981

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