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Blue by White (Dyptich) John Plumb


John Plumb Luton, Bedfordshire 1927 –

Date 1966
Object type painting
Medium, technique acrylic on canvas

91.5 x 122 cm

Inventory number MO.91.144
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view This artwork is not on display

Plumb was one of the most inventive abstract painters with the most thorough deliberation of painterly intentions in the England of the 1960s. His misleadingly simple compositions conveying his ideas very lucidly also held their ground compared with the Americans. His 1966 showing in the Axiom Gallery in London put a selection of the works that earned him international renown on display. His diptych entitled Blue by White, actually two assembled panels of two different colours, was also shown there.
In this period, Plumb concentrated on the fullest possible exploration of the effect intensity of a single colour. The homogeneous colour surface covering the panel is lined with thin overlapping bands along the edges, which is meant to concentrate everything on the central element of the picture as much as possible. Colour is the only accentuated element. Everything else – the shape of the canvas, its size – is secondary, functioning only as the vehicle of the colour essence fluctuating on the surface. The conspicuous simplicity and accurate execution result in a striking pictorial effect, partly owing to the varying density and texture of the paint applied with the brush.

Ferenc Tóth

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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