Paradox No V

Derek Hirst (1930 - 2006)



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© Crown copyright, UK Government Art Collection

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  • About the work
    Country: Turkey
    City: Ankara
    Place: British Embassy

    'Paradox' is the first set of screen prints that Derek Hirst produced. He described the series as:

    'An illusion of space, something that looks 3D but is actually flat. A proposal for a single print turned into a sequence of five variations'.

    With a hypnotic quality, each print provides a focus for reflection, allowing the viewer to make his or her own associations as to what is represented or suggested.

    From the 1970s, Hirst produced several abstract screen prints, many of which revealed his love of travel: stylistically they reflect aspects of architectural and decorative forms that he discovered in southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. In 1964, Hirst travelled to Morocco to study Islamic architecture. Afterwards, in the early 1970s, he made numerous series of prints inspired by architectural motifs such as the windows and doorways from the celebrated Jameh Mosque at Isfahan in central Iran; and architectural features of the Alhambra, the beautiful 13th century Moorish palace in Granada, southern Spain.

  • About the artist
    Painter and printmaker Derek Hirst attended Doncaster School of Art in 1948 and then the Royal College of Art, London from 1948 to 1951. As a student he was introduced to the work of Picasso, Braque and Léger. In 1953 he visited the Lascaux caves in France. This exposure to art from other cultures and places profound affected his own works which tend to have a strong sense of ‘place’, drawing upon environments that he has directly experienced. In 1976 Hirst was diagnosed with cancer which abruptly halted his work for eight years. Since then his work has been shown in numerous exhibitions in the UK and overseas. He has also lectured extensively and has been artist-in-residence at institutions in Sussex, Arizona and Portugal.
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  • Details
    Paradox No V
    Commissioned from the artist via Editions Alecto, 1975
    GAC number