According to the artist, this work was painted in 1987 when he had no idea that traumatic events were about to unfold in those public squares from Red to Tiananmen.

A basically monochromatic painting, the sole colour being the skin - this is a very simple but an enigmatic, haunting painting. Graham Dean works in watercolour on thick, handmade Indian paper, which he then tears and collages to achieve very large paintings. The torn edges are clearly visible, giving the material itself a presence. The inconsistencies of the paper are often a determining factor in the direction a painting will take: the ridges, creases, crevices, dents, and variable sizing all affect the absorbency and potential for visual effect. One of the artist's aims has been to re-invent watercolour painting on a large scale, relishing the watercolour effect but using and subverting its characteristics, to explore the sensual qualities of the paint yet to be as ambitious as possible, both in size and content.

Provenance

exhibited Austin / Desmond, London 1988; private collection 1988-1996


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