Feathers

Feathers. Francis Picabia. 1921

Feathers. Francis Picabia. 1921


Great Australian Bight

Great Australian Bight. Philip Sutton. 1966

Great Australian Bight. Philip Sutton. 1966


Waterfall

Waterfall. James Dickson Innes. 1911.

Waterfall. James Dickson Innes. 1911.


Landscape at Large

Landscape at Large. Paul Nash. 1936.

Landscape at Large. Paul Nash. 1936.

‘Landscape at Large’ is one of a group of landscape collages made by Paul Nash in 1936-8 in which real objects were used pictorially. The Tate Gallery also has ‘Swanage’ (made from photographs of objects and watercolour) and ‘In the Marshes’ (made from bark and sticks). From the title it is evident that this one was seen by Nash as an abstract landscape, with the shape of the bark suggesting perspective, and the texture and patterns of the materials making the features. The ‘at large’, although not explained by the artist, probably has its usual meaning of either ‘at liberty’ or ‘there in complete detail’, implying that the objects are standing in for themselves.

Text from Tate


A Sudden Gust of Wind

Travellers Caught in a Sudden breeze at Ejiri. Katsushika Hokusai. ca. 1832. Woodprint.

Travellers Caught in a Sudden breeze at Ejiri. Katsushika Hokusai. ca. 1832. Woodcut.

Study for 'A Sudden Gust of Wind (After Hokusai)'. Jeff Wall. 1993.

Study for ‘A Sudden Gust of Wind (After Hokusai)‘. Jeff Wall. 1993.

A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai).  Jeff Wall. 1993. Transparency on Light Box.

A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai). Jeff Wall. 1993. Transparency on Light Box.

A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai) by Jeff Wall is a large colour photograph displayed in a light box. It depicts a flat, open landscape in which four foreground figures are frozen as they respond to a sudden gust of wind. It is based on a woodcut, Travellers Caught in a Sudden breeze at Ejiri(c.1832) from a famous portfolio, The Thirty-six Views of Fuji, by the Japanese painter and printmaker Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). Wall photographed actors in a landscape located outside his home town, Vancouver, at times when similar weather conditions prevailed over a period of five months. He then collaged elements of the photograph digitally in order to achieve the desired composition. The result is a tableau which appears staged in the manner of a classical painting. As in Hokusai’s original, two men clutch their hats to their heads while a third stares up into the sky, where his trilby is being carried away by the wind. On the left, a woman’s body is halted in a state of shock, her head concealed by her scarf which has been blown around her face. A sheaf of papers in her hand has been dispersed by the gust and their trajectory, over the centre of the image, creates a sense of dynamic movement. Two narrow trees, also in the foreground, bend in the force of the wind, releasing dead leaves which mingle with the floating papers. In Hokusai’s image the landscape is a curving path through a reed-filled area next to a lake, leading towards Mount Fuji in the far distance. In Wall’s version, flat brown fields abut onto a canal. Small shacks, a row of telegraph poles and concrete pillars and piping evoke industrial farming. The unromantic nature of the landscape is reinforced by a small structure made of corrugated iron in the foreground. The pathway on which the figures stand is a dirt track extending along the front of the photograph from one side to the other. There is no sense of connection between the characters, whose position in the landscape appears incongruous. Two wear smart city clothes, adding to the sense of displacement.

Text from Tate


Observatory Time

Observatory Time: The Lovers. Man Ray. 1936

Observatory Time: The Lovers. Man Ray. 1936


Nude With Flying Swans

Nude With Flying Swans. Meredith Frampton. 1919.

Nude With Flying Swans. Meredith Frampton. 1919.