signed on the reverse: Robin Philipson; signed and inscribed with the title and artist's address on an old label attached to the stretcher
The present work, painted in 1982 is thought to be the first of a series of large scale paintings depicting poppies. In these works, Philipson began to make fresh experiments with the use of abstraction to define and allocate pictorial space. He perfected a technique of underpainting and glazing within these works which would make them one of the great achievements of his artistic career. Philipson wrote of the poppy paintings; 'What attracted me to poppies was their splendour - the sheer power and yet the delicacy of their colour - the cold and warm reds and very subtle translucent lights. I began by modelling their form in whites and a range of neutral colours. When this "white" stage was quite dry, the strong colours were created by laying thin glazes of pale transparent paint over the top, sometimes up to ten or more one on top of the other. Some of the blacks are built up in the same way over a bed of very rich blue or crimson.' (W. Gordon Smith, Philipson, Edinburgh, 1995, p. 112) These paintings are saturated with luscious colour and expressive impasto and are arguably Philipson's most attractive and successful paintings.
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