A woman reclines in glowing white, her posture a combination of relaxed elegance and studied, thoughtful tension, pressing together index finger and thumb on each hand. Although we have a full view of her face, she is looking outside the field of the canvas – dark eyes staring into the middle distance. Whilst Euan Uglow's studies of nudes are among his best-known works of the 1970s, the portrait Georgia has both a tonal quality and an engagement with the subject that sets it apart from the colder objectivity of the nudes. The palette is soft, yet bright – colours rich with grey and violet – accentuated by the boldly patterned teal and pale honey fabric upon which she rests. Painting marks – pale areas of thinner paint, of grids and crosses – can be seen, mainly focused around the outline that separates the model from the wall behind her. Here, the image's cohesion is occasionally torn into, giving us a glimpse of the grid on which the paint sits. The area around the head and arms in particular seems to shimmer with the movement around the white fabric, which spills into the atmosphere, causing the model's figure to advance and recede against the deep dove-coloured wall behind her. As Myles Murphy has commented, “The answer to the question of what is the object, is that everything is. … There are two structures here, as there are in the Italian landscapes: the one of the imagery and space and the accompanying one across the surface – structures which are usually so close, one so overlays the other, that they are accepted as one and the same, but these later paintings are a reminder that the coinciding is a matter of arrangement and that they are capable of a separate and independent existence”. For a full painting description on the British Council’s website please click on the link below under ‘More on this painting’
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British Council Collection
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