Wyndham Lewis

Bagdad

1927–8

Artist
Wyndham Lewis 1882–1957
Medium
Oil paint on wood
Dimensions
Support: 1829 × 787 mm
frame: 1900 × 860 × 66 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1956
Reference
T00099

Display caption

Spencer is depicted naked, contemplating the body of second wife, Patricia Preece. It was painted in a frank, non-idealised manner, the year they were married. However, their relationship was already troubled. Despite their physical proximity there is a sense of distance and sexual tension between the figures. Seen close-up and compressed in the picture space, they create an uncomfortable sensation of intimacy when viewing the painting. Spencer pays close attention to the colours and textures of human skin which are contrasted with the flesh tones of a raw joint of mutton.

Gallery label, October 2021

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Catalogue entry

T00099 BAGDAD 1927–8
 
Not inscribed.
Oil on plywood, 72×31 (183×79).
Purchased from the Zwemmer Gallery (Knapping Fund) 1956.
Coll: Curtis Moffat; purchased at his sale, c. 1932, by the Zwemmer Gallery.
Exh: Redfern Gallery, May 1949 (122); 20th Century Form, Whitechapel Art Gallery, April–May 1953 (26); Abstract, Cubist, Formalist, Sur-realist, Redfern Gallery, April–May 1954 (274); Trends in British Art 1900–54, Guildhall Art Gallery, July–August 1954 (89); British Council, British Kunst 1900–55, Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen, April 1956 (50); British Council, Britisk Natidskunst, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, May–June 1956 (50); Tate Gallery, July–August 1956 (121).
Lit: Handley-Read, 1951, pp.42–3, 56, 58, 86–7, repr. pl.9.

[no further details]

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

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