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    Sale 5390

    20th Century British Art

    7 October 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 219

    Jean Spencer (1942-1998)

    White and Grey Relief

    Price Realised  

    Jean Spencer (1942-1998)
    White and Grey Relief
    painted wood and aluminium, unframed
    36 x 36 in. (91.4 x 91.4 cm.)
    Conceived circa 1971.


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    As with most of Spencer's works in the 1960s and early 70s, White and Grey Relief is based on the geometry of the square. This basically static form is then animated by the asymmetry of its division into variously sized units and the visual balance and counter-balance between them, as well as by the effect of shade and light on the edges of the shallow relief. One of the characteristics of the constructivist tradition is the use of non-traditional materials - featured in White and Grey Relief by Spencer's use of four aluminium elements in an otherwise white-painted wood relief. These serve to provide the additional visual complexity to a strictly orthogonal composition which in Diagonal Relief No. 1 is achieved by the use of diagonals. Writing about her reliefs in 1969, Spencer said: 'these works cannot be approached exclusively through either the emotions or the intellect: they represent an area common to both: a rationalised intuition' (Exhibition catalogue, Jean Spencer, Brighton, University of Sussex, 1969).

    A.F.

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    Literature

    Exhibition catalogue, A Rational Aesthetic: The Systems Group and Associated Artists, Southampton, Southampton City Art Gallery, 2008, p. 57 (listed).


    Exhibited

    Southampton, Southampton City Art Gallery, A Rational Aesthetic: The Systems Group and Associated Artists, January - March 2008.