Patrick Caulfield at Tate Britain

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After Lunch, 1975 © The Estate of Patrick Caulfield. All rights reserved, DACS 2013

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Café Interior, 1973 © The Estate of Patrick Caulfield. All rights reserved, DACS 2013

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Bishops, 2004 © The estate of Patrick Caulfield. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2013

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Pottery, 1969 © The estate of Patrick Caulfield. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2013

Last week I took a trip over to Tate Britain to see the Patrick Caulfield exhibition and wow, was it worth it. Such amazing work; graphic, colourful, witty and enormous!

The exhibition follows his artistic career chronologically from the early 60s when he left the Royal College of Art through many iconic pieces to some of his last paintings in 2005.

Caulfield's work was influenced by cubism and rather than use traditional painting techniques, he developed a unique graphic style with simplistic shapes, flat colours and black outlines - a style more associated with commercial signwriters. It was great to see this style develop and become perfected as I moved through the exhibition/ years.

Anyone in any doubt over whether he could paint in a more traditional style will be blown away by the realism in some sections of his paintings. For example, take a close look at the landscape picture in After Lunch (above) - you would be forgiven for thinking it was a picture postcard, but it is in fact an extremely detailed landscape painting. The brass door handles in Bishops (above) are another fine example of his traditional painting pedigree.

These areas of detail surrounded by over-simplified objects and flat coloured backgrounds are typical of Caulfields work. They created what he thought was a reflection of how our memories record information, "I find that in treating things in different ways, they become a point of focus. It's the idea that one doesn't encompass everything, and that your eye can look around and see things. I'm not so sure whether it's your eye or whether it's that your memory remembers things in different ways. There seems no reason to treat everything evenly. It's more like a collaged memory of things. Some of the things are in sharp focus, and others, if you like, symbolise the object".

The exhibition runs until 1st September 2013 at Tate Britain.

Mon 12 Aug 2013

Posted under: Design , Art , Exhibition

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