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Spiral Motif (Subjective Landscape) in Black and White
© Victor Pasmore Estate

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Spiral Motif (Subjective Landscape) in Black and White 1951

Not on display

Pasmore's art of the 1930s and 1940s was ardently figurative but in 1948 he suddenly began painting abstract works. This work is one of a series of about six paintings made between 1950 and 1952 that Pasmore based on a spiral motif. Composed of organic swirls suggesting natural forms, Pasmore described them as landscapes of the mind: “What I have done is not the result of a process of abstraction in front of nature, but a method of construction emanating from within”. He made a vast ceramic mural of similar design for the 1951 Festival of Britain Exhibition, held in London.

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.

Figurative art

A general term for art that refers to the real, visible world, used more specifically for the representation of the human figure.


A distinctive element in a work of art or design.


An artwork or design attached or applied directly to a wall.

Abstract art, Figurative art, Motif, Mural


  • Acc. No. GMA 833
  • Medium Oil on wood
  • Size 80.60 x 22.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased (Knapping Fund) 1963