Rane Begum No.799 Floats

Rana Begum No. 799 Floats © Rana Begum Studio

Rana Begum A Conversation with Light and Form

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 2022

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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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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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Rock Face

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Rock Face  1973

The concave front of 'Rock Face' serves to emphasise the striking conjunction of the two tones in the slab of Ancaster stone. The stratification is also visible in the holes carved through the block, which were Barbara Hepworth's characteristic way of enhancing the relationships between surfaces and forms. Both the choice of coloured material and the simple upright form were typical of her late works in which the monolith assumed ritual and spiritual significance. Although long committed to abstract form, she understood how it evoked analogues, noting: 'You can't make a sculpture without it being a thing - a creature, a figure, a fetish.'

Gallery label, August 2004

© Bowness

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Meander I

Bryan Wynter, Meander I  1967

© The estate of Bryan Wynter

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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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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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Portheras Grey

Paul Feiler, Portheras Grey  1959–61

Planes of paint, densely applied with large brushes and a palette knife, establish a structured composition, dominated by subtle modulations of white. This evokes Feiler’s experience of the local landscape in Cornwall, acknowledged in the conjunction of place-names and colours in his titles. Since moving to Cornwall in the early 1950s, Feiler has been one of the leading painters in Britain responding to the landscape through abstract means.

Gallery label, May 2008

© Paul Feiler. All Rights Reserved 2020 / Bridgeman Images

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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 2022

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Clevedon Bandstand

Peter Lanyon, Clevedon Bandstand  1964

Clevedon Bandstand 1964 is one of several works derived from a visit to the seaside town of Clevedon in Somerset. Lanyon travelled there with students from Bristol School of Art and others’ reminiscences and Lanyon’s own photographs of the town help to identify the source of several of the forms. The pink form on the right-hand side, which has been enhanced by sand added into the paint, derived from a drawing of a nude female figure that had been painted on the interior of a Victorian bandstand in which the group sought refuge during a rain shower. The thin black line probably refers to the unusually finely structured iron pier and the pattern of white dots might refer to phosphorescence on the water. Lanyon took a number of photographs of a boating pond close to the sea’s edge, and the division between the natural water and the man-made might be the source for the areas of different blues divided by thin red lines. Knowledge of Lanyon’s earlier work, such as Thermal 1960 (Tate T00375), would suggest that the loose, dry twist of white near the centre refers to a gust of wind.

© Estate of Peter Lanyon / DACS 2022

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Turning Form

Denis Mitchell, Turning Form  1959

© The estate of Denis Mitchell

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Art in this room

Seated Figure on a Bench
Willem de Kooning Seated Figure on a Bench 1972
Berlin Blues 4
William Scott Berlin Blues 4 1965
Oi Yoi Yoi
Roger Hilton Oi Yoi Yoi 1963
Rock Face
Dame Barbara Hepworth Rock Face 1973
Meander I
Bryan Wynter Meander I 1967
Thermal
Peter Lanyon Thermal 1960

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