This work was painted during the artist’s final year as a student at Camberwell College of Art in London in the mid-1970s, and was originally intended as the basis for an etching. Made during a period the artist refers to as his ‘coming out’, it is one of a number of works in which Hall reflects on his sexuality.
The work shows the artist’s first homosexual lover returning his gaze and tenderly beckoning to him to join him on the couch, and share his ‘happiness and security’, although it in fact relates more closely to the ending of the relationship. The tenderness, as well as the intentionally sexual tone, however, are countered by the artist’s recollections of feeling ‘unaccepted and not knowing how to resolve the conflicts within.’
After the relationship ended, the work was boxed and covered with velvet-like wallpaper. This painting was purchased in 1980 from Ikon Gallery in Birmingham in an exhibition selected by Hugh Stoddart. It had originally been shown in an exhibition entitled ‘Mayfair Illuminations’ in 1977, selected by the artist David Medalla.
Where to see this painting?
Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre
Not all paintings are on display. If you want to see a particular painting, please contact the collection