This print, composed of blocky rectangular shapes overlaid with semi-transparent scratched lines, was inspired by the Cornish landscape; the terracotta brown and black formations relate to cliffs and rock textures. Describing the lithography method used, the artist said: ‘Working directly in the stone was an entirely different technique to engraving and produced very different results. I had never tried this before.’
Date of work
Original: Lithograph on paper 32 x 40.5 cm Tate © The estate of John Wells
John Wells was a major figure in the St Ives group of artists that were at the forefront of British modern and abstract art in the post-war period. He worked as a GP throughout the 1930s and early 1940s, only pursuing art as a career in his late thirties, when he moved to Newlyn, near St Ives in 1946. He remained in the town for the rest of his life, drawing inspiration from the dramatic landscapes and vast Atlantic vistas. His abstract paintings and sculptures are celebrated for their subtlety and controlled use of space and form.