New Painting: Reclining Nude II

Reclining Nude II
Reclining Nude II

This is another nude, painted in acrylic on a deep edge canvas. It’s another attempt to investigate methods of representing the human (female) figure in a style which seeks to emphasize the planes of the figure in space, as well as the interlocking shapes between the planes.

It’s based on a study from a recent life drawing class. The thinking behind the painting developed during its execution. At various stages I was thinking of works by Philip Guston, Jean Helion and Paul Klee. Once again, I was also thinking of Douglas Cooper’s (1970 p.33) book, “The Cubist Epoch”, in which we read that Picasso said of his own pre-Cubist painting entitled ‘Dance of the Veils (Nude with Drapes)’, 1907, that it should be possible to “‘cut up’ his canvas and having reassembled it ‘according to the colour indications… find oneself confronted with a sculpture.'”

This painting is part of a developing series in which, once again, I’m seeking to investigate and understand how to use those – notionally ‘simple’ – colour dimensions of hue, value and saturation so as to encourage the viewer to confront the contradictions inherent in representing a 3 dimensional subject on a 2 dimensional surface.

If the viewer is made to feel that the image portrayed is oscillating between abstraction and figuration, whereby, one minute a particular bounded plane is simply an abstract flat colour shape, then the next is recognisable as a foreshortened thigh projecting into space, then this painting will have achieved its objective.

Dimensions: 60cm x 80cm, supplied ‘unframed’ on a deep edge canvas which have been painted, so it may not need framing, depending on personal taste.

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