STUDIO PRACTICE 1970-73
EXPLORING LARGE SCALE GESTURAL ABSTRACTION
Inevitably at that stage in my career I tested out a broad range of contemporary styles and ideas. Since 1969 I had taken an interest in American Post War Art – The Abstract Expressionists: Barnett Newman, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Hans Hofmann and Adolph Gottlieb.
The empathy amongst some of the tutors at Bristol for post 1945 American Art, enticed me further in that direction. In 1972 I produced a series of large ‘Gestural Abstracts’
The theme of these large paintings, was an intuitive conception of elemental forces at work. They refer to themselves, but hopefully evoke visual metaphor in the mind of the beholder.
The Anglo-German painter Paul Feiler, was Head of the Painting Department and a member of the post war ‘St.Ives’ school. There were personal ties between British and American artists in the 1950’s. In 1958 Paul Feiler met with Mark Rothko on his visit to Cornwall, and this was to leave a lasting impression.
Two of the other tutors I trained under were Alfred Stockham and David Inshaw. They communicated an approach to painting that was to do with finding ‘roots’ within an English figurative tradition. This ‘rang bells’ with my earlier figurative style, which at this stage had been superseded by abstraction.