Manchester Art Gallery

Black Pyramids

John Armstrong, 1893 - 1973



Black Pyramids

John Armstrong 1893 - 1973

Summary

Semi-abstract flat geometrical landscape of brown cubes and black pyramids, with a large inverted teardrop shape made up of small cream-coloured cubes rising up from the ground in the centre, leaning towards the right and casting a shadow to the left. The sky fades from blue at the horizon to dark brown at the top of the painting.

Display Label

Everything’s Inevitable Works from the collection of Manchester Art Gallery selected by Des Hughes 1 May 2012 – 2013 Manchester Art Gallery has invited sculptor Des Hughes to make a selection of works from our collection to show alongside a framed assemblage piece, In a Brown Study 2011 which will be a new acquisition. Des Hughes lives and works in Kington, Herefordshire. His Do You Think of Me Often is also a recent addition to the Whitworth Art Gallery collection. ‘When I first looked through the collection I planned to select works in a logical way by grouping work by certain themes that I had noticed. Because it is such a vast collection I was overwhelmed, a pleasurable experience in itself, but the idea of 'selecting ' works involves making sense, using a system. To search the collection thoroughly I felt that every work should have a fair audition based on this system. 'Beards', 'hair', 'holes', 'abstract sculpture in paintings made before abstract sculpture was invented' were just some of the themes that seemed to suggest themselves. By grouping works small and probably irrelevant details might connect random and distant painting and sculpture and become important, and in doing so reveal something to myself and others how I might use them in my sculpture. But every time I went through the collection completely different exhibitions would surface and particular works would keep distracting me from these schemes. I noticed that it was exactly the way in which I would view exhibitions, and in fact the way I view everything, scrolling through until a single anecdotal element lights up. Whatever and whenever it is, it suddenly feels vital and current and needs to be made. It connects with past works or particular material or technique, image or gesture and somehow becomes 'inevitable'. An element of every painting, sculpture and particularly the modest items of decorative arts in this selection has become a part of this raw material of future works. ‘ Des Hughes


Object Name

Black Pyramids

Creators Name

John Armstrong

Date Created

1942

Dimensions

unframed: 26.6cm x 37.9cm
framed: 38.2cm x 49.2cm

accession number

1943.7

Collection Group

fine art
British
painting

Place of creation

England

Support

hardboard

Medium

tempera


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