Bryan Wynter

Hostile Tribe

About this artwork

This painting was made in 1956, a year of radical change in Wynter’s work. Its large scale and ‘all-over’ composition relates to works by American Abstract Expressionists the artist saw in an exhibition at the Tate in January 1956, and to the work of Mark Tobey, whom he met in St Ives in 1955. The painting refers to an imaginary primitive history, something which Wynter sensed in the extraordinary natural surroundings of his isolated home in Cornwall. Although Wynter has moved away from figurative painting, the work suggests a group of skeletal, primal figures, comprising enigmatic shapes and symbols. Built up from layers of overlapping and gestural brushmarks made intuitively, Wynter has suggested a deep picture space, unlike the shallow picture space often associated with abstract art.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Hostile Tribe
  • date created:
    1956
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    112.10 x 142.50 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1982
  • accession number:
    GMA 2479
  • gallery:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Tell us what you think.

Bryan Wynter

Bryan Wynter