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Origins of the Land No.1

Graham Sutherland (1903 - 1980)

Oil on board

1950-1951

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  • About the work
    Location
    Country: Other
    City: storage
    Origins of the Land No.1 is a study for the painting of the same name at Tate, for which 53 oil and gouache studies were exhibited at the Redfern Gallery in 1952. In his studies, Sutherland incorporated motifs such as a pterodactyl skeleton, a standing form emblem and rock formations found at Tourettes-sur-Loup near Vence in France. There appears to be a deliberate contrast in the study between the grey rock-like forms and the orange background – perhaps suggesting the contrast between the fiery process that has created earth and the inert materials that come from it.

    Sutherland was an Official War Artist from 1941–44, when he painted scenes of devastation, blast furnaces, tin mining and quarrying. After the war he lived part-time in the South of France, which influenced his appreciation of colour.

    The final version of Origins of the Land No.1 was produced as a mural for the ‘Land of Britain’ pavilion at South Bank part of the Festival of Britain of 1951. The idea behind the pavilion was to examine mineral wealth following nationalisation of the coal industry a few years earlier.
  • Explore
    Places
    Subjects
    abstract
    Materials & Techniques
    board, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    Title
    Origins of the Land No.1
    Date
    1950-1951
    Medium
    Oil on board
    Dimensions
    height: 76.00 cm, width: 46.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Redfern Gallery, December 1959
    Inscription
    none
    Provenance
    R.D.S.May; purchased from Redfern Gallery. December 1959
    GAC number
    5050