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High Planes by John Carter


Moving images
Related to the widespread contemporary notion of a 'progressive' development out of the 'subjective' arena. of painting and into 'specific objecthood', John Carter felt in the mid-1960's that three-dimensional work was the logical outcome of his development as a painter. He actually made four or five such works over 1966-68 before realizing, in his own words, that his 'inclination has always been towards some sort of dialogue between painting and sculpture.' His technique was basic (painted hardboard construction). Stripes ensured that the surface-pattern and structure were interlocked. A visually active three-dimensional form was established, and Carter has referred in this regard to his interest in 'the black and white stone-layered church fašades in the Pisan style that I saw all over Sardinia.' Indeed, many early drawings evoked towers, facades and entrances. It was almost as if he 'wanted to make paintings that would be as real as a building.' At the same time, the frontal face of the hollow column represents a foreshortened frontal view of a striped column. Further visual paradoxes present themselves. For example, perched above the fiat but apparently angled widest plane, the topmost plane seems like a physically angled slice such as appear to make up the column itself, but this unit's angle is again a matter of visual illusion. My real concern is something to do with the poetics, if you like, of visual performance, in terms of structure, perspective, and interplay between known flat surfaces and implied volumes, or weight and balance, and these are ideas to do with the way you see things and the way you understand them.
Artist:John Carter
Artwork type:sculpture
Material:painted hardboard
Measurements:2730 x 1040 x 100 mm
Technique:construction, painting
Location:British Academy, Carlton House Terrace, London. View by appointment; please contact Ms. Jo Blore on 020 7969 5225
Rights owner:John Carter
Rights status:The CNAA has made every effort to trace the copyright owner of this work, but without success. Any persons or organizations having a valid claim to ownership of the relevant copyright should contact the CNAA immediately, with a view to any omissions being corrected as soon as possible.
Institution:Council for National Academic Awards

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