GRAHAM SUTHERLAND O.M.
‘Lane Entrance’ with Interlacing Foliage
Signed and dated ‘Sutherland 45’ (lower right)
Pencil, crayon, ink, watercolour and bodycolour, lightly squared for transfer
The reverse with Entrance to a Lane, a watercolour and black ink study
This work is an especially ordered, symmetrical version of the lane entrance motif, and is related to and possibly formed the basis for a larger work on paper Entrance to Lane with Interlacing Foliage (present whereabouts unknown, D. Cooper, Graham Sutherland, pl. 68c).
Sheet size : Height 19.3 cm., 7 5/8 in., Width 18.8 cm., 7 ½ in.,
Related to :
Entrance to a Lane with Interlacing Foliage 1945; pen, chalk and gouche; 21 ½ in. x 21 ¼ in.,; first exhibited Buchholz Gallery, New York, 1946 catalogue no 15; illustrated in The Work of Graham Sutherland (Douglas Cooper) No 68c.
Entrance to a Lane, 1943; gouache, The Otter Gallery, Chichester.
Lane Opening 1945; Southampton Art Gallery & Museum
Lane Opening 1944-5; first exhibited Recent Paintings by Francis Bacon … Graham Sutherland, Lefevre Gallery, April 1945.
Green Lane 1945; Southampton City Art Gallery
The reverse work : Green Lane 1945, Entrance to a Lane 1945, & Entrance to a Lane 1945; illustrated in The Work of Graham Sutherland (Douglas Cooper) No’s 68a, 68b & 68d.
As Douglas Cooper discusses in The Work of Graham Sutherland, ‘In the postwar period Sutherland emerges as a much more interesting, varied and impressive artist. For he has developed his vision, polished his handling and pressed on from being an unusual English landscape painter to his present position as the leading representative of the English School….He is adventurous in so far as he is always trying to break new ground and exposing himself to new experiences. But as he gains in technical accomplishment during the process the perfectionist in him is aroused and, becoming aware of the incompleteness of his earlier treatment of a motif, he turns back to redefine it and enlarge his original visual experience. A typical example of this is Entrance to a Lane which Sutherland had explored very fully in 1939 but to which he returned in 1945 to extract from it a more complex, sinuous and suggestive composition…. The time had come by 1945 when his vision was ready to expand and his style to be enhanced…. This change occupied a period of about four years and affected every aspect of his work – subject, colour, composition and handling. Sutherland extended his field of vision laterally and dealing with a bolder but more complex group of inter-related natural forms…. He gives up receeding perpectives and brings these natural forms closer to the eye and the centre of the canvas. This change in Sutherland’s approach to nature and in his handling is also accompanied by a change in his palette. His tonalities are lightened and be began to use much brighter colours, and he reveals himself as a vivid colourist with an original and personal sense of the sharp black and white oppositions, and has recourse to acid pinks and mauve, light blue and orange, scarlet, emerald and chrome yellow…. He was at this time on terms of close friendship with Francis Bacon, and it is probably that Sutherland was receptive to some of his ideas which allowed him to open his eyes to various technical possibilities and refinements.
Entrance to a Lane with Interlacing Foliage and Entrance to a Lane on the reverse reflect these qualities and the shift in Sutherland’s work. The perspectival clarity of the composition also recalls contemporary pictures such as Landscape with Rocks, 1945 (Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum). Bold drawings and brushmarks co-exist in Lane Entrance, as in many such small-scale Sutherlands, with the fastidious squaring up in pencil that Sutherland subsequently applied in order to transfer his idea from a sketchbook to a larger format.
This post was written by joecollinson