Robert Colquhoun

Woman with Leaping Cat


Not on display

Robert Colquhoun 1914–1962
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 767 × 610 × 20mm
frame 1010 × 860 × 55 mm
Purchased 1954

Display caption

Women, either alone or in pairs, were frequent motifs for Colquhoun between 1943 and 1946. Through these figures he conveyed the themes of poverty, old age, isolation and a 'resignation to the human condition'. His tragic subjects seemed poignant and relevant in the aftermath of the Second World War. This was one of a group of paintings Colqhoun exhibited at the Lefevre Gallery in London in 1946. Many critics admired his deft handling of oil paint, rich imaginative colour and confident use of a post-cubist idiom. The latter, in particular, suggested a remarkable understanding of continental avant-garde style at a time when British artists had been isolated from the rest of Europe by war.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

Inscr. ‘Colquhoun’ b.r.
Canvas, 30×24 (76×61).
Purchased from the Redfern Gallery (Cleve Fund) 1954.
Coll: Purchased by Oswald Falk from the Lefevre Gallery 1946; Redfern Gallery.
Exh: Fifteen Recent Paintings, Lefevre Gallery, February 1946 (22); British Contemporary Painters, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, and U.S. tour, 1946–7 (11, repr.); British Council, Five Contemporary British Painters, Canada tour, 1952–3 (2); Abstract, Cubist, Formalist, Surrealist, Redfern Gallery, April–May 1954 (338); Whitechapel Art Gallery, March–May 1958 (36, repr. in colour).
Repr: Studio, CXXXIV, 1947, p.43; Tate Gallery Report 1954–55, 1955.

One of a series of similar subjects. A ‘Seated Woman and Cat’, 1946, belongs to the Arts Council and was exhibited at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, March–May 1958 (37, repr. pl.6); there was a monotype ‘Woman with Cat’, 1945, in the same exhibition (196).

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

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