Equation’s White Tomb

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Acrylic on board
1200 x 2400mm

This painting is Paul Hartigan’s answer to the criticism that his work was too light-hearted, brightly coloured and ‘Pop’ in orientation. The artist has deliberately cooled his colours and reinforced the flatness of the painted surface in marked contrast with his earlier works, which exploited the illusion of depth and volume.

The shapes he uses are elusive. They struggle out of the predominant whiteness which gives the suggestion of having largely buried a great deal of bright colour beneath. Like the cut-outs of Richard Killeen, Hartigan’s forms not direct the viewer to a narrative reading. Nor do they exude any emotional resonance. The pleasure lies in the elusiveness.

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Challenge Collection (later Fletcher Trust Collection), purchased from RKS, November 1984