Archived exhibition
4th Floor Gallery

Alan Reynolds
Circling the Square

27 April–27 May 2006

Alan Reynolds’s journey from prominent landscape painter to uncompromisingly abstract artist has in retrospect been a natural progression. The new works we see today have their roots in his earliest abstracted landscapes of the late fifties, through the Ovoid paintings of the sixties to the construction of reliefs from 1969. He transformed the essential elements of his paintings into their purest form; eventually removing all colour, leaving white constructed reliefs defined only by light and shade.

The new works, begun in 2002, use rotation for the first time. In the past, compositions were formed by the ‘mirroring’ of elements, be it horizontal, diagonal or vertical. For these new works Reynolds has produced square compositions that though still divisible into horizontal and vertical halves, con- sist of quarters that rotate around a central axis. There is a harmony and balance within the square format that Reynolds has used, but closer attention shows how dynamic these rotating forms are. The drawings have bold tonal distinctions to indicate the different depths and widths of the ele- ments used to create the reliefs, while the woodcuts produce images of stark contrast, reducing the compositions to their most elemental form. At 80 Alan Reynolds is still bucking the trend, making works that are uncompromising and powerful, beautiful and distinct.