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Bedford Heights

© Estate of Gwyther Irwin

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Gwyther Irwin

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Gwyther Irwin

British, 1931-2008

Bedford Heights, 1964

collage relief

support: 38 x 30 inches (96.52 x 76.2 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1964

K1964:29

More Details

Inscriptions

signature, dated / back, upper center / Gwyther Irwin 1964
inscription / back, upper center / "BEDFORD HEIGHTS"
inscription / back, upper center / 38" x 30"

Class

Sculpture

Work Type

Relief (sculpture)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

During the late 1950s, while many of his British contemporaries yielded to the influence of Abstract Expressionism, Gwyther Irwin maintained an interest in the European avant-garde. Inspirations such as Art Brut, which explored graffiti and outsider art, fed into a style that Irwin made all his own: a form of three-dimensional collage that hovers between painting and sculpture. The artist combed the streets, picking up bits of debris. He would then assemble the detritus into large-scale, delicate tableaux—repeating a simple motif across the picture plane, all the while subtly refining shape, color, and texture. In Bedford Heights, Irwin transformed corrugated cardboard and other materials into a monochromatic, depth-laden composition built within a system of rhythm, pattern, and structure. The artist has said of his process, ”I watch with wonder and excitement as the colors and marks, falling from my hand as if propelled by a source of guidance other than myself, slowly spread across the surface.”

Label from Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s, June 30–December 30, 2018

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