Castle Green

Tess Jaray (1937 - )

Oil on canvas

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© Tess Jaray

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  • About the work
    Country: Luxembourg
    City: Luxembourg
    Place: British Embassy

    'Castle Green' is one of a series of works that Tess Jaray painted after she visited Italy, immediately following her time as a student at the Slade. Italian architecture had a great impact on her art, and the rectangular shapes in this painting are reminiscent of doors in Italian Renaissance architecture, particularly of buildings in Florence such as the church of Santa Maria Novella. They also resemble the turrets of castles alluded to in the title.

    Jaray's work has been allied with Post-Painterly Abstraction, an essentially American movement which has had considerable influence in Britain. She believes that one paints to find out and explore possibilities, rather than to express oneself, and in this painting she was investigating the effects of space and colour. Jaray was also interested in experimenting with perspective. She used a hand mirror when constructing the composition of 'Castle Green', dividing the space into two to create the illusion of going into a third, transcendental, dimensional space. She wanted to disorientate the viewer, so that they would not know where they were in relation to the forms in front of them.

    Tess Jaray was born in London, where she studied at St Martin's School of Art and the Slade. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, has work in public collections including Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum, and from 1968-99 taught at the Slade School of Art. In 1985 she was commissioned to produce the Terrazzo floor for Victoria Station, London. Following this she completed several public commissions, including the forecourt of the new British Embassy in Moscow, Centenary Square in Birmingham and the roof terrace of the headquarters of the Arts Council of England, Great Peter Street, London. In 1995 Jaray won the Jerwood Prize for Art and Architecture Award.

  • About the artist
    Born in Vienna, Tess Jaray studied at St Martin’s School of Art and the Slade School of Art in London. She has exhibited internationally and her work is held in many public collections including in London at Tate, and the Victoria and Albert Museum; and at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. In 1995, won the Jerwood Art for Architecture Award. Jaray has completed numerous public commissions, including works for Centenary Square in Birmingham (1988–1992); the forecourt of the new British Embassy in Moscow (1995–2000); and the Outpatients Area, University Hospitals, Coventry and Warwick (2005–06). In 2010, she was elected a Royal Academician, one of the few women RAs; then elected a Senior RA in 2013. In 2016, Jaray curated a group exhibition, 'The Edge of Printing' at the Royal Academy; and in 2018, a solo show of her work was held at Exile, Berlin.
  • Explore
    Materials & Techniques
    canvas, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    Castle Green
    Oil on canvas
    height: 182.70 cm, width: 153.00 cm
    Purchased from the artist, December 1971
    GAC number