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Passion and Commitment Stephen Masterson


Stephen Masterson London 1959 –

Date 1986
Object type painting
Medium, technique oil, varnish and wax on canvas

197.5 x 197.5 cm

Inventory number MO.91.128
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view This artwork is not on display

A milestone in Masterson’s life was his one-man show at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery in London in 1988, with the title Angel of History which launched his international career. Passion and Commitment had a salient role in the exhibition as a representative work synthesizing his artistic outlook. As a motto for the selection, the catalogue starts with a quotation from Walter Benjamin’s study entitled Illuminations. Masterson explained his choice in the following words: “I include it partly because it relates directly to the work included in the exhibition, and partly because it seems to be seminal to the whole idea of progress in Postmodernism.” On account of his pictures subtly elaborated in deep tones evoking the classic landscapes of Nicolas Poussin, Masterson is reckoned as the English representative of painterly ideas which add up into post-modernist painting. Most of his works share transiency and transcendency at their common core. The crumbling, mystical archaism of his themes and painting style suggest a kind of nostalgia for the idealized past.

Ferenc Tóth

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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