Winter Seeding Hillside
© The Artist

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Winter Seeding Hillside Dated 1953
‘Winter Seeding Hillside’ is an example of Reynolds’ painterly style of the 1950s. The landscape is composed of expressionistic, bold brush strokes of muted colours, which help suggest a winter scene. The brash black, and simplification of tree-like structures into jagged shapes, focuses attention towards a skull-like form near the centre, and calls to mind the work of the artist William Gear from the early 1950s. In 1952 the critic Herbert Read grouped the work of several emerging sculptors under the tag, “the geometry of fear”, and although this painting could be viewed in this vein, Reynolds was more concerned with creating a structured balance between the horizontal and vertical forces in the composition.

Glossary Open

Composition

The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

Expressionism

A style that made an impact in the arts in the 1920s, particularly in Germany. Expressionists deliberately abandoned realistic representation techniques in favour of exaggerations and distortions of line and colour that were intended to carry far greater emotional impact.

Geometry of Fear

A term coined in 1952 by the critic Herbert Read, which relates to a generation of sculptors who emerged in the wake of World War II. Read wrote: “These new images belong to the iconography of despair, or of defiance; and the more innocent the artist, the more effectively he transmits the collective guilt. Here are images of flight, or ragged claws ‘scuttling across the floors of silent seas’, of excoriated flesh, frustrated sex, the geometry of fear.”

Composition, Expressionism, Geometry of Fear

Details

  • Acc. No. GMA 2921
  • Medium Oil on hardboard
  • Size 76.50 cm x 101.50 cm
  • Credit Presented anonymously in memory of William Johnstone 1984