Flat Modern World

I’m looking carefully at Patrick Caulfield (1936-2005). Trolling the hashtag on Instagram. Searching installation images of a recent show at The Approach Gallery in London. The flat shapes. The tableau of the quotidian. The geometry against painterly realism. The occasional and thrilling pop of impasto straight from the tube. The paintings hold markers of the time in which they were made: pop art, graphic screen printing, flatness, dull and browned palette, objects now obsolete (desk pen connected to a stand by a ball chain; push button telephone; repositionable wall lights; ochre ceramic casserole dishes), awkward and overwrought arrangements of food and fruit, half drunk whisky and wine glasses. There is contrast, humour, colour, flatness and strong, black outlines.

influencers Magritte and Matisse and his influencees Gary Hume and Julian Opie (and others).

Compositions of domesticity and urbanism. Compositions with a space and a stillness which passes for a kind of reverence and contemplation.

I’m taking notes and making studies of all this. Contemplating and considering.

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