The Joy of Colour

Nov. 2002
acrylic on paper
19.3 x 19.3 cm

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: The Joy of Colour - The Late Paintings and Prints opens at the Bohun Gallery (Henley on Thames) on Saturday 3 February.  “Letting rip” is how Wilhelmina Barns-Graham described making her late work. Colour defines these paintings and prints. She was a master of her craft, an artist perfectly attuned to every nuance of each hue and tone. Furthermore, she had the unusual gift of synaesthesia. This meant that sensations she experienced were translated intuitively into specific colours with attendant harmonies and discords. Colour played a central role throughout her life but it is in these late works where it explodes with new invigoration, each brush mark saturated with a different colour.


A pivotal moment came in 1998 when she agreed to make screenprints with Carol Robertson of Graal Press. What started tentatively for the 86 year old artist turned into perhaps the most productive, creative period of her life and realised an exceptional body of work, with sixty five editions made within her final five years. Indeed, there was often cross fertilisation of ideas between her painting and printmaking. This hugely successful output, which one can define as a true collaboration between the artist and technician, proved to be an extraordinary finale to an extraordinary career.


The exhibition runs until 24 February. An illustrated catalogue is available.


Bohun Gallery, 15 Reading Road, Henley-on- Thames, Oxon. RG9 1AB

Enquiries to        tel 01491 576228



Breeze 1999
acrylic on paper
58.3 x 76.8 cm
Untitled 2003
acrylic on paper
24.8 x 24.6 cm
Vision in Time III 2006
screenprint, edition of 25
76 x 58 cm

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