About the work
John Sturgess described 'Stellar' as:
'…concerned with “pin point” bombardments, tracers and formings. I was interested in the night sky and the racers of shooting stars and satellites. I liked the idea of activity and demands from all parts of the surface while trying to create a gently mesmeric contemplative mood.'
The style of this print relates to Optical Art (or Op-Art), a movement that developed in international modern art in the 1960s. Op artists manipulated colour, line, and shape to induce vibrant effects of shifting, flickering, and often dazzling surfaces, sometimes so startlingly that works appear to vibrate with energy and movement. Colours and geometric forms, simple or complex, were meticulously placed in advance of printing to ensure a precise result.
Of his practice, Sturgess has commented:
‘There are two main sources of motivation which influence my vision. One is landscape, its organic forms and structure; the other is the symbolic images of the ancient world. … It is an assimilated influence embodying the feeling and mystery of aspects of these [ancient] cultures creating original shapes and forms which embody a reference to this pervasive feeling, while maintaining their originality; a mystery of time, now and past, embodied in a series of colours and shapes.’
While he was a student at Northampton School of Art (1950–1954), Sturgess was awarded a travelling scholarship to France and Belgium in 1953. He then went on to study at the Royal College of Art and Design between 1956 and 1959. From 1966, he taught for two decades at Middlesex University where he held a number of positions, including Principal Lecturer and Director of Studies in the Visual Research Department.
Sturgess’ work has featured in numerous exhibitions in London, as well as Sweden and the USA. His work is held in the collections of the Arts Council, The National Trust and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, along with numerous private collections.
About the artist
John Sturgess (1933 - )
- Purchased from Editions Alecto, March 1970
- below image: [left] STELLAR 1969 7.25 [right] John Sturgess
- GAC number