Prints were a significant part of Barns-Graham’s artistic output throughout her career. This print, made the same year she travelled to Spain, reveals a looser and more free-form approach to mark-making than in her previous works. Several expressive vertical black marks are layered over a series of solid ochre shapes in a composition that reflects her fascination with natural forms.
Date of work
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.