Anthony Hill

Relief Construction: December 1956


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Not on display

Anthony Hill 1930–2020
Aluminium, copper and Perspex
Object: 381 × 381 × 41 mm
Purchased 1976

Catalogue entry


Inscribed ‘AH[Monogram] 56’ on back
Copper, aluminium and perspex, 15×15×1 5/8 (38.1×38.1×4.1)
Purchased from the artist (Gytha Trust) 1976
Exh: Anthony Hill: Recent Constructions, Library, Institute of Contemporary Arts, February–March 1958(3)

The following notes are based on conversations with the artist in March 1976, and approved by him.

T02027 is according to the artist's catalogue of his work his eighty-first recorded work and his twenty-seventh construction. It was probably executed in his Greek Street Studio. In December 1954 Hill had made his first group of studies for reliefs, and his first completed relief ‘Relief Construction’ which was exhibited in the exhibition Nine Abstract Artists at the Redfern Gallery in January 1955.

T02027 is unique among Hill's reliefs in that it is ‘overridingly symmetrical’ (the artist's description). No larger version of the work was made.

At about the time it was executed Hill wrote a piece for the catalogue of the exhibition Statements, held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in January– February 1957, in which he expressed his artistic beliefs as follows: 'The construction is neither painting nor sculpture primarily on account of it not being “painted” or “sculptured” and secondly because its concerns are not those of either a painting or a sculpture.

'Synthetic materials and other materials like glass and metal in their machine states gives the abstract artist a new and important group of media and it is with these materials that “Constructionist” conceptions can be realized and developed. With these new materials come a new “art object” - the construction.

'The techniques of painting, modelling and carving developed to further the aims of recording real space or creating illusionist space and the representation of solids. Constructionist art is purely inventive and concerned with manipulating real entities; it is neither Academic nor Phantasist, Classical or Romantic, it is Realist.

‘Like the twelve note composers the constructionist sees himself as an innovator, developing a tradition and not merely creating a revolution. In this sense he can be represented as being both dogmatic and empirical-dogmatic in his rejections and deliberate position, empirical in his move forward from these “consequences” making constant testings and researches in the new realm in which he finds himself.’

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1974-6: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1978

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