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"Backgrounds to History"

This series of shaped panels, painted and incorporating a laminated computer print, began in the 1990s and is on-going.

The paintings operate on at least four levels:

• The shaped canvases refer to things such as military maps, pincer movements, military insignia, but predominantly the horizontal viewing slit of a tank through which History - the Battle of Stalingrad - is viewed.

•The all-over dappled painting references the tradition of monochrome/near monochrome painting, starting with Jacques Louis David's history painting, the"Death of Marat"(particularly its dappled background) and continuing into the 20th century with Rodchenko and Malevich (1914-20) and then with Manzoni, Castellani and Klein in 1943 (the date of the Battle of Stalingrad), as well as things like 'snow-blindness/dazzle',

• The colours: derive from rye-bread, military uniforms, camouflage, blood, butter (lacking in the Nazi soldiers' diet and needed for preventing heat loss in the snow)

• The laminated computer image: taken from contemporary film footage of the battle, specifically 'locates' the events temporally and historically.

These four elements, and others, interweave constantly in the on-going production of this series, which was first shown at the Brahm Gallery, Leeds, UK in 2000, and again at The University Gallery Leeds for the 25 year retrospective exhibition"Visual Verbal" (2000) (Catalogue available from our store).

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