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signed, inscribed and dated 'Derek Boshier 1963/VIEWER' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
60 x 67 in. (152.4 x 170.2 cm.), shaped
Painted in 1963.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, South Kensington, 3 July 2003, lot 708.
Purchased by the present owner at the 2016 exhibition.
Exhibition catalogue, Post-War to Pop - Modern British Art: Abstraction, Pop and Op Art, London, Whitford Fine Art, 2008, n.p., no. 23, illustrated.
P. Gorman, Derek Boshier: Rethink / Re-entry, London, 2015, p. 62, pl. 50.
Exhibition catalogue, Pop Art Heroes Britain, London, Whitford Fine Art, 2016, pp. 24-25, no. 12, illustrated.
London, Whitford Fine Art, Post-War to Pop - Modern British Art: Abstraction, Pop and Op Art, May - June 2008, no. 23.
London, Whitford Fine Art, Pop Art Heroes Britain, May - July 2016, no. 12.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. This lot will be removed to our storage facility at Momart. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at and our fees for storage are set out in the table below - these will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Momart. All collections from Momart will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: If the lot remains at Christie’s it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Lot Essay

The protruding area to the right of the canvas in Viewer, as well as the vertical interruptions punctuating the work, create a strong sense of depth; Boshier is artificially forcing a two dimensional medium to escape its confines and enter a new dimension, much like the stereographic slide viewer toys to which the work may refer. The work is full of this sense of rebelling against old constraints and breaking new ground. This was an important period for Boshier as he increasingly turned to geometric abstraction with shaped canvases and Op Art overtones, although the inclusion of mass culture detritus such as distorted TV static and toys locates the present work in a more transitional phase. In the wider context, the piece captures the optimism but also the rebellion and anxieties of ‘Swinging London’ in the early 1960s. The rainbow symbols may allude to the Campaign for Nuclear disarmament and the anti-nuclear Aldermaston marches, in which Boshier participated. Their shape is reflected in arrangements of concentric grey circles reminiscent of the view down a gun barrel, or diagrams of a nuclear blast radius.

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