This work, made when Barns-Graham was in her eighties, reflects the freer, more expressive approach to painting that characterized much of her later work. She produced relatively few works on canvas during this period, preferring instead to use paper. This large-scale exception is a vibrant, joyful picture that demonstrates her abiding interest in colour, shape and form.
June Painting, Ultramarine and Yellow
Date of work
Acrylic paint on canvas 137.5 x 208.2 cm © Barns-Graham Trust
Born in St Andrews, Scotland, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham moved to St Ives in 1940, where she became an influential figure in the group of modernist artists based in the town. Her paintings fused abstraction with representational imagery, often inspired by the dramatic Cornish landscapes and other places she visited. She was concerned with capturing the emotion of a place; of describing not just the formal qualities of landscape but the feelings evoked. From the 1960s, her work became markedly abstract, defined by strong geometric forms and a powerful dynamism. Later paintings were freer and more expressionistic.