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Vertical Composition No. 2

On view

Vertical Composition No. 2

Artist: Merlyn Evans (British, 1910 - 1973)

Date: 1934
Medium: Tempera on linen mounted on board
Dimensions:
Overall: 76 3/16 × 49in. (193.5 × 124.5cm)
Signed: Lower left: 'EVANS 34'
Inscribed: Verso, upper center in black crayon: 'This painting was purchased / by Theta and John Wolf / from the artist Meryln Evans / March 30 '67 / in Chicago - It had been / in a show at The Art Institute of Chicago. / Feb 24-March 26, 1967 -- 'SERIOUS [ ] 1976 May / Retouched by / Rita Leff[?] / April 1977'
Credit Line: Gift of John B. and Theta Wolf
Object number: 95.14
Label Text
Merlyn Oliver Evans, painter and printmaker, was born in Wales but brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. He was deeply affected by the poverty and violence he witnessed in the economically depressed Glasgow of the late 1920s. By 1930 he was finding his way towards a highly individual, sharply angular abstract style. Evans believed that abstraction, so far from being purely aesthetic, was the means to an art actively engaged with life, capable of the most dynamic expression of psychological, ethical and political concerns. His experimental drawings and paintings of the early 1930s combined plant, crustacean and mechanical forms and laid the grounds for the morphological semi-figurative abstraction of his maturity.

In Vertical Composition No. 2 underlying political and psychological themes may be discerned in complex interplay of violently jagged elements and rounded pictorial devices that hint at a disguised figurative form. The painting works visually in terms of what Evans described as "architectural equilibrium, presentational immediacy and directness of optical impact."

Mel Gooding
2005

Copyright
Presumed copyright: the artist or the artist's representative/heir(s).