Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: A New Dynamic

Untitled, 2001, Acrylic on paper, BGT2944

A new exhibition, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: A New Dynamic: The late works 1996-2003, has opened online at Waterhouse and Dodd until 12 February 2021.

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham’s late abstract paintings represent one of the high points of her long and varied career. As she worked through her 80s, her paintings became bolder, brighter and more immediate. These works were executed in acrylic. The quick drying medium allowed the artist to rapidly overlay largely unmodulated and contrasting colours. While there is a sense of Barns-Graham ‘letting rip’ – as described in Virginia Button’s recent book on the artist – the compositions were still routed in her systemic experimentation of the 70s and 80s.

Despite her advancing age and her past preference for reduced scale, Barns-Graham’s late works are often relatively large. This allows the viewer a more immersive experience, even with the works on paper. Yet there is delicacy and nuance to the work; the paintings are hardly a gestural free-for-all. Nor are the colour combinations entirely random or based solely of aesthetic choices. They are in no small part related to her Synaesthesia in which colours are associated to people, places, numbers and letters.

This is Waterhouse & Dodd’s first exhibition dedicated entirely to Barns-Graham’s late works. The exhibition will exist primarily as an online event, although all the available paintings are currently on view at their Savile Row gallery and further installation shots and short videos can be forwarded on request.



Inspirational Journeys

We are sorry to announce that due to current restrictions, our touring exhibition, Inspirational Journeys, will no longer open at The Atkinson, Southport, as planned this January.