John Golding

H13 (Pleated Light-Verona)


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Not on display

John Golding 1929–2012
Acrylic paint on fabric
Support: 1753 × 2747 mm
Purchased 1984

Catalogue entry

John Golding born 1929

T03859 H13 (Pleated Light-Verona) 1983

Acrylic on cotton duck 1753 x 2747 (69 x 108 1/8)
Inscribed ‘Golding H13 (Pleated Light-Verona) '83' on back of canvas t.l.
Purchased from Juda Rowan Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1984
Exh: John Golding: Paintings and Drawings, Juda Rowan Gallery, April-May 1984 (no number)

T03859 was painted in the artist's studio in the back garden of his home in Hammersmith, London. The letter H in the title denotes a phase of work which lasted throughout 1982-3. The H phase is characaterised by an increased use of arabesque and a move away from the strict horizontality and verticality of earlier work. The artist has now reached a phase denoted by the letter J. The number 13 indicates that T03859 was the thirteenth painting in the H phase; it was also the largest painting in that phase. There are no direct preparatory working drawings or sketches for T03859. It was begun using the canvas of an unfinished painting of 1980-1, and some horizontal ridges of pigment are still visible along the lower edge of the work. The ‘Pleated Light' part of the title refers to one of Golding's major aims as a painter. Being an admirer of the way Braque concertinas or pleats space in his canvases, Golding tries to do the same with light. He wishes to introduce more light on to the canvas surface than one thinks the surface could hold.

The ‘Verona' part of the title is a coded reference to Golding's liking for the work of the Italian Renaissance painter, Veronese. The main reason for Golding's admiration of Veronese is the Italian painter's use of colour. He likes the way Veronese uses it with opulence, ‘an opulence that is never mindless'. Veronese structures his paintings by his use of colour and this too is Golding's approach. T03859 was executed quite quickly; the artist found that the painting of it ‘moved naturally' and it was finished within about three months. Golding paints on average about 12 pictures a year, working on more than one at any one time. The execution of a painting can sometimes extend over a period of up to two years. He uses a variety of painting implements and T03859 was painted using large house-painter's brushes, sponges, palette knife, and masking tape to create the vertical strips. The vertical strips have evolved over a long period of time from figural references, which hark back to the earliest phase of Golding's oeuvre. He was born in Mexico, and thus from an early age became familiar with the work of the Mexican painter José Clemente Orozco. He noted that Orozco's nude figures were often painted with white stripes on their bodies, as though their skeletons were outside their flesh. This painterly device impressed Golding and he uses light-toned strips in his paintings to serve the purpose of an armature for the composition. These strips therefore have resonances of figure rather than landscape painting. This entry is based on a conversation between the compiler and the artist on 10 February 1988, and has been approved by him.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, pp.155-6

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