Peter Joseph

No. 55 Green with Dark Blue Surround


Not on display

Peter Joseph
Acrylic paint on canvas
Support: 1648 × 1876 mm
Purchased 1982

Display caption

From the early 1970s, Peter Joseph made paintings

that followed a basic format: a central rectangle of colour surrounded by a border of a darker hue. His quiet and subtle paintings are inspired by such things as a sonata by Schubert or a shadow beneath a tree. Joseph has explained: ‘There is little space left in the industry of art exhibiting for a dream or reverie. What you see in my work is perhaps a momentary attempt to establish this space.’

Gallery label, February 2010

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.

Catalogue entry

T03467 No.55 Green with Dark Blue Surround 1981

Acrylic on canvas 64 5/16 × 73 15/16 (1648 × 1876)
Inscribed ‘Peter Joseph Oct' 81’ on top overlap and ‘Green with Dark Blue Surround 55 65" × 74"’ on stretcher
Purchased from Gillespie-Laage-Salomon, Paris (Grant-in-Aid) 1982
Exh: Peter Joseph, Gillespie-Laage-Salomon, Paris, December 1981–January 1982 (no catalogue)

The artist was asked about the making of T03467 and he replied (in a letter to the compiler, 7 May 1986):

You ask me whether there was significance for me in selecting the blue and the green. Yes, there was the utmost significance and all the more significance because I cannot state what significance is, other than through colour.

Yes there was a specific necessity (not reason) for the ratio of green to blue, just as there were certain proportions to the canvas shape and size, and to the tone and hue of the colours.

What was I being influenced by at the time... by that which suggests more than I know - a passage of sounds and tones in a sonata by Schubert and perhaps the fall of shadow under a tree.

There is a certain sensibility that one needs to evoke in painting a canvas, and a certain meaning to be evoked which cannot be understood but is immanently experienced.

There is little space left in the industry of art exhibiting for a dream or reverie. What you see in my work is perhaps a momentary attempt to establish this space.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986

You might like