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Evening Spring

Alan Reynolds (1926-2014)


Signed and dated 55

Watercolour with bodycolour

19 ¼ x 11 ¼ inches

Redfern Gallery, London, February 1956

'A Century of British Art: 1945-2010', Chris Beetles Gallery, 5 October-6 November 2021, No 232

The present work exemplifies a type of composition to which Alan Reynolds returned frequently during the 1950s. Michael Harrison has described the type as ‘combining landscape and plant studies against twilight skies’ and so ‘setting microcosm against macrocosm’ (Alan Reynolds. The Making of a Concretist Artist, Farnham: Lund Humphries, 2011, page 42). According to Harrison, Reynolds himself made a musical association with the suggestions of dawn and dusk in the song cycle, Liederkreis (opus 39), by the German Romantic composer, Robert Schumann.

The specific motif of a tall, umbellifer-type plant, with detaching seed heads, appears among the pages of A Small Romantic Herbal, an album of works from 1950 to 1956, which Reynolds gave as a wedding present to his wife, Vona, in 1957. The motif has its ultimate expression in Reynolds’ large oil on board, Spring (1955, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne), which is itself one in the major series of ‘The Four Seasons’, first exhibited in the solo show of the same name at the Redfern Gallery in 1956.

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