London, South Kensington
7 October 2008
Jean Spencer (1942-1998)
Studies for Tate Paintings (Untitled)
27½ x 42 in. (69.8 x 106.7 cm.)
Painted in 1996.
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Exhibition catalogue, Jean Spencer A Retrospective Exhibition, Oundle, September - October 2006, p. 19, illustrated.
Oundle, Yarrow Gallery, Jean Spencer A Retrospective Exhibition, September - October 2006, no. 19.
In the mid 1970s, Jean Spencer began to explore a whole new world of colour qualities and relationships - a development which continued for the rest of her life. In her own words, in these works (of which Studies for Tate Paintings is a late but typical example) 'chromatic complexity supersedes geometric complexity' (Jean Spencer, private archive, 1978). The paintings still involve geometry, mainly in the form of carefully calculated vertical or horizontal bands within a square or rectangle, but in a much simpler form than in her white reliefs. Her arrays of colour - evolved through a lengthy process of experimentation with degrees of hue, saturation, luminosity, and harmony - form a subtle, complex and highly distinctive palette. This particular painting was a study for a work to be exhibited at the Tate in 1999.
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