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Henry Cliffe (British, 1919-1983)
By 1952 Cliffe's work was being represented in international
exhibitions, and he had important one-man exhibitions of paintings at
the Redfern Gallery in 1956 and 1961. Further important shows included
the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol in 1962 and 1964; an exhibition of prints
and drawings at St George's Gallery, London in 1959; and a solo exhibition
of gouaches and prints at the Centaur Gallery, Bath in 1967. His lithographs
were included in the International Biennial of Contemporary Colour Lithography
in Cincinnati and the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 1954 and
gouache on paper
signed and dated
34.5 x 40.8cm.
Untitled (abstract figure)
gouache on paper
executed circa 1955
23 x 15¾ in., 58.5 x 40 cm.
Provenance: Private Collection, London.
Cliffe came into contact with many of the 'St Ives School' artists during his time at Corsham, in particular Peter Lanyon and Roger Hilton. 'Untitled (Abstract Figure)' shares with Hilton's work of the time an abstracting of the body into loosely geometric proportions and a flattening of the figure that makes depth the job of colour and texture. This painting also shows an awareness of contemporary American trends, in particular de Kooning's abstract expressionist treatments of the female body, that radically distort, placing an emphasis on painterly animation of the surface.
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