Drawn from Turner
Martin Dukes , Tate
Martin Dukes is an artist living and working in London who also works at Tate. He graduated from U.W.E, Bristol in 2001 and completed his fellowship with the university in 2002. Martin works in a variety of media, most of which concern the status of painting and the relationship between ‘abstraction’ and image. Ultimately his practice deals with issues of authorship and the constituents of the imagination. He has exhibited in and curated group shows in London, Hamburg and Berlin, and is currently showing at Madame Lillies, London.
Allen Jones RA, artist
Allen Jones, RA, is a painter, printmaker and sculptor. He studied at Hornsey College of Art and the Royal College of Art. In 1963 he represented the UK at the Paris Biennale where he received the Prix des Jeunes Artistes, since when he has continuously exhibited in prestigious venues worldwide. His work is in the collections of many important international collections, including Tate, Hirshhorn, Wallraf-Richartz, Moderna Museet, Stedelijk and MoMA, New York. He has designed for the Royal Ballet and Ballet Rambert in England, West Deutsche TV in Cologne and Thames TV in the UK. His sculptures have been commissioned for both private and public collections worldwide. Additionally, he has designed three books and had a further four published about his work. He was a Trustee of the British Museum from 1990-9.
Drawing the figure did not seem central to the creative impetus of Turner, but his painting Music Party at Petworth has always been something of a talisman for me. The figures make a stable scaffolding around which the colour story revolves in a creative delirium.
As someone passionately interested in colour but unable to dump the figure, I was delighted to have a chance to hold, and scrutinize, Turner’s preparatory sketches, which suggest that the impetus for this picture came directly from the colour possibilities presented by the scene, rather than from the figures themselves. As such, there was nothing that I wanted to copy in pencil.
The figures in the other available Turner drawings seemed rather formulaic and did not excite me, so I turned to the landscapes. My choice was a rather dense drawing of a mountainous scene with a rustic bridge evoking a melancholy that seemed in keeping with the subject. The morning passed in a trice, engrossed as I was in tracking the crosshatching and myriad decisions of the Master’s hand.
As far as my effort was concerned, I see it simply as a record of time spent as close to Turner as if he had been alive.