2018-03-27-2018-12-18 --- 2018-12-18 13:20:34--18
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LOT :14
Colin Middleton MBE RHA RUA (1910-1983)
Matter and Kind - 'Westerness Cycle' No.1 (1974/75)
Oil on board, 61 x 61cm (24 x 24'')
Estimate EUR : €8,000.00 - €12,000.00
Auction Date : 27-03-2018


Colin Middleton MBE RHA RUA (1910-1983)
Matter and Kind - 'Westerness Cycle' No.1 (1974/75)
Oil on board, 61 x 61cm (24 x 24'')
Signed; signed again, inscribed with title and dated 1974/5 verso

Exhibited: 'Colin Middleton Exhibition', The Hendriks Gallery, March-April 1976, Catalogue No.1.

The Westerness Series was one of the three significant bodies of work that occupied Colin Middleton throughout the 1970s, alongside the Wilderness and Barcelona series of paintings. All three were related in certain ways but retained their own distinct style and intentions. The Westerness Series was more contained and defined than the larger Wilderness Series; eighteen paintings completed in 1974-5 were exhibited under this name at the Ritchie Hendriks Gallery in 1976.

The series refers in its name to Finnegans Wake, from which the title of the second painting of the cycle, Into the Shandy Westerness She Rain, Rain, Rain, is taken. Within a range of literary references Middleton integrated influences from recent travels, notably the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Montserrat, which he had visited when in Barcelona. Like the concurrent Wilderness Series, the Westerness paintings depict a stylised, dream-like landscape in which are brought together various elements from across Middletons life and work.

The central form in Matter and Kind suggests the female archetype that was central to these late works, as it had been throughout his career. The loose folds of fabric that seem to suggest a precariously balanced figure recur throughout these paintings, indicating Middletons re-engagement in his later career with his own early training and work as a damask designer.

The ambiguity of these suggestions of physical presence that are swallowed up by the immateriality of form and the generality of the landscape is perhaps mirrored in the title, which raises the idea of matter through an image which itself seems to question its uncertain physical nature, while also hinting at the German Mütter and Kind, mother and child, which presents a more literal reading of the figure.

The Westerness Series has arguably remained relatively neglected and has been seen as an extension of the Wilderness series, but in many ways it can be seen as one of Middletons major achievements in its own right, dealing with, and in some ways perhaps resolving, spiritual and pictorial concerns that continued through his career.

Dicken Hall, March 2018

Hammer Price : €7,500.00
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