P32 – Research 4A – Patrick Caulfield

Patrick Caulfield’s name didn’t ring any bells with me so I searched for him on that font of unreviewed information that is Wikipedia. I immediately saw “After Lunch”, a painting I had seen and loved the last time I had been in Tate Britain, appropriately after lunching there with the Head of Finance. I just hadn’t remembered the artist! (Incidentally: Diary Date – 4 June  –  8 September 2013, Tate Britain Exhibition of Caulfield’s work along with work by Gary Hume.)

After Lunch, 1975

[NOT from Bridgeman Education!]

I found the large flat areas of colour very reminiscent of David Hockney’s work such as “A Bigger Splash”. It didn’t surprise me at all to find they were both at the Royal College of Art at the same time, in the early sixties, (along with Peter Blake, Allen Jones and other Pop Artists).

David Hockney – A Bigger Splash

[NOT from Bridgeman Education!]

While Caulfield was linked with the Pop Art movement, he opposed the term, seeing himself rather as “a ‘formal’ artist” and an inheritor of painting traditions from Modern Masters such as Georges Braque, Juan Gris and Fernand Léger who influenced his composition and choice of subject matter.

A typical work, “Still-life: Autumn Fashion” (1978), an acrylic painting in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, depicts an interior, possibly a kitchen, with light coming from an open window. A basket of leeks sits on the table, painted with thick black outlines. By contrast, oysters are shown both in outline and in highly realistic detail.

Still-life: Autumn Fashion

[from Walker Art Gallery site – NOT Bridgeman Education!]

Caulfield’s works often portray a few simple objects in an interior. Typically, he used flat areas of simple colour surrounded by black outlines. Some of his works are dominated by a single colour.

His lithograph “Two Fish on a Plate” (1999) is simultaneously a 3D plate lit by a strong source to the upper left with marked shadows, and a flat 2D pattern of black and white shapes.

Two Fish on a Plate

[All these images are from the Tate site – NOT from Bridgeman Education!]

His series of screenprints “White Ware”, to which the course notes refer, show various jugs and vases under strong light – but as with Two Fish on a Plate, we make the flat simple positive and negative shapes into light beams and objects.

Arita Flask black (1990)

Large White Jug (1990)

With this second print, Caulfield beautifully contrasts the white light seen through the negative space of the jug handle with the black shadow on the jug itself.

While researching this artist, the work which made me smile was Caulfield’s screenprint “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon vues de derrière” (1999).

Here is a photograph I took a couple of years ago in New York of Picasso’s original “from the front” version:

Pablo Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”

[My own photograph, so Bridgeman Education had better not use it!]

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About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website johnpindararts.weebly.com
This entry was posted in Art, Drawing 1, OCA, Open College of the Arts, Research and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to P32 – Research 4A – Patrick Caulfield

  1. Reblogged this on notes to the milkman and commented:
    I know it’s a bit cheeky to reblog yourself, but I enjoyed researching Patrick Caulfield for my OCA Drawing 1 course so I thought I’d share it with a few more people!

  2. seascapesaus says:

    glad to be in on your research John! Love the derriere view of the demoiselles d’Avignon.

  3. ms6282 says:

    No need to apologise ! An interesting post. I don’t know much about Caulfield and after reading this I think I’ll have to follow up and look out for some of his works.. Where did you see the rear view of the Demoiselles d’Avignon?

  4. very interesting article, thank you. I’ve seen some of his work but didn’t know much about him before 🙂

  5. The rear view was on the Tate’s website. Searching there for Patrick Caulfield produces 124 works, including the derrières. I didn’t know Caulfield by name until this research project for my course but as well as recognising the Tate painting of After Lunch, I also recognised one of green railings seen in Birmingham. You’ve no doubt seen his works, Mike, but without realising it.

  6. Pingback: Research 4B – A Drawing in the Style of Patrick Caulfield | The Milkman Goes To College

  7. Pingback: London 1 – Caulfield, Hulme and Some Bloke Called Lowry | notes to the milkman

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