Climbing Composition Green and Blue
© Estate of Adrian Heath

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Climbing Composition Green and Blue 1950
This work was exhibited in the first post-war exhibition in Britain devoted to abstract art, which Heath helped to organise in 1951. It featured paintings by Kenneth and Mary Martin, Terry Frost, Victor Pasmore and Anthony Hill. Crucial for them all were the theories of harmonious proportion and dynamic composition of Hambidge, Power and Ghyka, who had all written on this subject. Heath was particularly impressed by Hambidge, basing compositions, such as ‘Climbing Composition Green and Blue’, on divisions of root angles. With trial pieces of cut card, which he rotated and shifted, he created a sense of constructed movement and organic growth. The result is what Heath described as a “rectangle of whirling planes”.

Glossary Open

Abstract art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.

Composition

The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

Constructivism

A geometric, abstract style founded in the early twentieth century in Russia by Vladimir Tatlin. The movement reflected the machine age through its use of new technology and materials and applied its theories to architecture and design as well as fine art. Exiled artists such as Naum Gabo helped to spread the Constructivist ideas. ‘Constructionist’ and ‘constructed abstract art’ are also terms used to describe work relating to these ideas.

Relief

A form of sculpture where the image or design projects from a flat surface types of which include, bas-relief or low relief.

Abstract art, Composition, Constructivism, Relief

Details

  • Acc. No. GMA 5050
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 81.50 x 51.00 cm (framed: 117.00 x 87.00 cm)
  • Credit Bequeathed by Mr Ken Powell 2006 [received 2008]