- John Ernest 1922–1994
- Aluminium and plastic laminate on wood
- Object: 1067 x 1372 x 73 mm
- Presented by Sir George Labouchere through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1966
John Ernest 1922-1994
T00872 Mosaic Relief No. 4 1966
Relief of aluminium, formica, and cellulose on hardboard, 42 x 54 x 2¿ (106.7 x 137.2 x 7.3).
Presented by Sir George Labouchere through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1966.
Exh. Constructions, Axiom Gallery, April–May 1966 (8).
Repr. Art International, X, No. 6, Summer 1966, p. 106.
John Ernest started making constructions in 1954 and has worked exclusively in that medium since 1956. He wrote (20 March 1967): ‘The mosaic relief form grew directly out of my interest in devising visual analogues for abstract or conceptual structures – usually mathematical. In 1959 I discovered a method of portraying “Group” tables on which I based a number of maquettes. In these the visual structure corresponded precisely with particular mathematical structures. Later I rejected these objects (which were lost or destroyed) because of views I held at the time as to the relations between art works and models.
‘Nevertheless Mosaic Relief 1 grew directly from secondary attributes of these analogues. The two principal ideas involved in No. 1, as well as the others in the series are:
1: The limitations of choice imposed by the restriction to a fixed number of possibilities within a grid system.
2: The evocation of a hierarchy of appearances within such a severely restrictive system. The visual elements are grouped or clustered to allow for the formation of alternative assemblages. Qualities such as colour, shape, relief, surface quality, etc., accumulate variously to make different wholes. Ideally the visual structures are unpeeled one from another by shifts in the focus of the spectator’s attention.’
No. 1 in this series belongs to the Kazimir Gallery, Chicago, U.S.A.; No. 2 to the Arts Council of Great Britain; No. 3, which is closely related to No 4, to the Institute of Con temporary Arts (shortly to be sold by them, 1967); No. 5, which ‘represents a considerable change of approach within the series’, to the artist.
Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1966–1967, London 1967.