Pyramids

Stephen Selwyn (1953 - )

Acrylic on paper

1985

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  • About the work
    Location
    Country: Singapore
    City: Singapore
    Place: British High Commission

    This brightly coloured painting by Stephen Selwyn explores the potential of the geometrical form of the triangle. Two pyramids emerge from this pattern-like composition, set against a desert sunrise that evokes Egypt. The use of brick patterning on the two triangular surfaces adds a dimension of depth alongside the figurative sun. Pyramids is based on a triangle-based mural that Selwyn did in St Charles Hospital in Ladbroke Grove when he was an artist in residence there from 1983 to 1987. In an artist statement shortly before his death, Selwyn commented:

    Many of my friends left abstraction for exciting new fields, but I stayed with it, partly under the influence of Bridget Riley, who was exploring a new and less dogmatic language of abstraction. One thing I did was to abandon flatness, in favour of a return to perspective.

  • About the artist
    In the 1970s, Stephen Selwyn worked as an assistant to Bridget Riley, one of Britain’s most famous abstract artists. Riley had a strong influence on him. Selwyn then studied at the Chelsea School of Art, London (1980–82) and taught colour theory in various London colleges. He moved to New York in 1986. Later in life, he worked as a furniture maker and an exhibition designer for the Canadian High Commission in London, and for numerous galleries including the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
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  • Details
    Title
    Pyramids
    Date
    1985
    Medium
    Acrylic on paper
    Dimensions
    height: 47.00 cm, width: 77.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from the artist, August 1985
    Inscription
    bl: Pyramids br: Stephen Selwyn / 85.
    GAC number
    16374/C