photo: © Rikard Österlund

Room 6 in Modern Art and St Ives

New directions after 1960

Between the Two my Heart is Balanced

Lubaina Himid, Between the Two my Heart is Balanced  1991

This work re-imagines Victorian artist James Tissot’s painting Portsmouth Dockyard c.1877 and is titled after a similar engraving. Tissot’s work features a white British soldier seated in a boat between two white women. In Lubaina Himid’s version, the soldier is replaced with a stack of coloured objects. According to the artist, they are maps which the Black female figures are tearing up and discarding. This action might be seen as a rejection of forms of knowledge and navigation traditionally controlled by white men. Himid has stated the work is ‘a musing on what would happen if black women got together and started to try to destroy maps and charts – to undo what has been done’.

Gallery label, August 2020

© Lubaina Himid

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artworks in New directions after 1960

Untitled

Mark Rothko, Untitled  c.1950–2

In his mature work, Rothko abandoned specific reference to nature in order to paint images with universal associations. By the late 1940s he had developed a style in which hazy, luminous rectangles float within a vertical format. Rothko wrote that the great artistic achievements of the past were pictures of the human figure alone in a moment of utter immobility. He sought to create his own version of this solitary meditative experience, scaling his pictures so that the viewer is enveloped in their subtly shifting, atmospheric surface.

Gallery label, July 2012

© Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko/DACS 2020

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2/11
artworks in New directions after 1960

The Only Blonde in the World

Pauline Boty, The Only Blonde in the World  1963

Pop artists were fascinated by Marilyn Monroe as the most famous of movie stars and the epitome of a new sexuality. Most responses to her were made by men, however. Boty was one of the few women artists working in this vein and perhaps that gave her a different view on Marilyn.Is the figure isolated by being squeezed between fields of abstract forms? Is the title ironic? Boty’s work was sometimes concerned with gender and sexuality and so it is ironic, that she was herself frequently discussed in terms of her appearance.

Gallery label, May 2007

© The estate of Pauline Boty

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3/11
artworks in New directions after 1960

Thermal

Peter Lanyon, Thermal  1960

This painting is one of a series of works that were partly inspired by Lanyon's experience of gliding. Lanyon began gliding in 1959 and the sensation of flight added new dimensions to his landscape painting. He gained a much stronger feeling for the elements. He later explained: 'The air is a very definite world of activity as complex and demanding as the sea.. The thermal itself is a current of hot air rising and eventually condensing into cloud. It is invisible and can only be apprehended by an instrument such as a glider.. The basic source of all soaring flight is the thermal'.

Gallery label, September 2004

© The estate of Peter Lanyon

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4/11
artworks in New directions after 1960

Oi Yoi Yoi

Roger Hilton, Oi Yoi Yoi  1963

In the early 1960s, Hilton’s art could be figurative or abstract but it always had an erotic charge. This is, perhaps, the most literal description of a situation in his art of that time. He once stated that ‘there are situations, states of mind, moods, etc., which call for some artistic expression’. He gave the source of the painting - ‘my wife dancing on a verandah, we were having a quarrel. She was nude and angry at the time and she was dancing up and down shouting oi yoi yoi – but it is more universal than that.’

Gallery label, September 2016

© The estate of Roger Hilton

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5/11
artworks in New directions after 1960

Berlin Blues 4

William Scott, Berlin Blues 4  1965

Scott spent a scholarship year in Berlin in 1963-4. According to him, the title for this painting, was chosen because it was one of a group of blue pictures started in Berlin and the particular blue pigment he used for them was discovered by him in that city. He commented that in this work the spatial relationships in his composition had become more symmetrical and Byzantine in origin. In the mid-1960s Scott simplified and clarified his paintings, using bolder shapes and eliminating textural contrasts. Paint was evenly and thinly applied, as here.

Gallery label, September 2004

© The estate of William Scott

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artworks in New directions after 1960

Vivace

7/11
artworks in New directions after 1960

Seated Figure on a Bench

Willem de Kooning, Seated Figure on a Bench  1972

De Kooning began making sculpture in 1969, having previously discarded the idea much earlier in his career. This sculpture is one of his largest and was modelled in clay. Because his hands were too small to work the clay in the way he wanted, he wore two oversize pairs of workman's gloves, thereby ending up with fingers five or six inches long. The increase in size of his hands allowed him to work more broadly than he would have otherwise been able. De Kooning's interest in the expressiveness of the material falls within the tradition of sculpture beginning with Rodin and taken up by Giacometti.

Gallery label, August 2004

© Willem de Kooning Revocable Trust/ARS, NY and DACS, London 2020

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8/11
artworks in New directions after 1960

Meander I

Bryan Wynter, Meander I  1967

© The estate of Bryan Wynter

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9/11
artworks in New directions after 1960

Godroon

David Annesley, Godroon  1966

© David Annesley

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10/11
artworks in New directions after 1960

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Patrick Heron, Rumbold Vertical One: Emerald in Reds: February 1970  1970

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artworks in New directions after 1960

Art in this room

Between the Two my Heart is Balanced
Lubaina Himid Between the Two my Heart is Balanced 1991
Untitled
Mark Rothko Untitled c.1950–2
The Only Blonde in the World
Pauline Boty The Only Blonde in the World 1963
Thermal
Peter Lanyon Thermal 1960
Oi Yoi Yoi
Roger Hilton Oi Yoi Yoi 1963
Berlin Blues 4
William Scott Berlin Blues 4 1965

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