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Graham Sutherland, O.M. (1903-1980)
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Graham Sutherland, O.M. (1903-1980)

Black and Yellow Landscape with Valleys

Graham Sutherland, O.M. (1903-1980)
Black and Yellow Landscape with Valleys
watercolour, bodycolour, coloured crayon, black ink and grey wash
14 x 24 in. (35.5 x 61 cm.)
Purchased by Sir Colin Anderson at the 1941 exhibition for £18-0-0.
C.E.M.A., Picture-Making, 1941.
London, Leicester Galleries, Graham Sutherland, 1941, no. 30.
London, Roland Browse & Delbanco, Romantic Trends in British Art, 1949.
Edinburgh, University Art Society, 1949.
London, Tate Gallery, Contemporary Art Society Members' Pictures, 1950. London, Tate Gallery, Private Views Works from the collections of twenty Friends of the Tate Gallery, April - May 1963, no. 27.
London, Royal Fine Art Commission, 1969.
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Lot Essay

In 1942, Sutherland wrote in an open letter to Colin Anderson in the journal, Horizon about Pembrokeshire, 'It was in this country that I began to learn painting. It seemed impossible here for me to sit down and make finished paintings 'from nature'. Indeed there were no 'ready made' subjects to paint. The spaces and concentrations of this clearly constructed land were stuff for storing in the mind. Their essence was intellectual and emotional, if I may say so. I found that I could express what I felt only by paraphrasing what I saw. Moreover, such country did not seem to make man appear little as does some country of the grander sort. I felt just as much part of the earth as my features were part of me. I did not feel that my imagination was in conflict with the real, but that reality was a dispersed and disintergrated form of imagination.

'At first, I attemped to make pictures on the spot. But soon I gave this up. It became my habit to walk through, and soak myself in the country. At times I would make small sketches of ideas on the backs of envelopes and in a small sketch book, or I would make drawings from nature of forms which interested me and which I might otherwise forget. The latter practice helped to nourish my ideas and to keep me on good terms with nature. Sometimes, through sheer laziness, I would lie on the warm shore until my eye, becoming riveted to some sea-eroded rocks, would notice that they were precisely reproducing, in miniature, the forms of the inland hills. At all events, I never forced myself here, or consciously looked for subjects. I found it better to visit this country because I liked it - and ideas seemed to come gradually and naturally.

'I have confined myself to writing about a particular area and I do this because it was in this area that I learned that landscape was not necessarily scenic, but its parts have an individual figurative detachment. I found that this was equally true of other places which I visited later; but the clear, yet intricate construction of the landscape of the earlier experience, coupled with an emotional feeling of being on the brink of some drama, taught me a lesson and had an unmistakable message that has influenced me profoundly' (Horizon, V, April 1942, pp. 225-35).

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