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Köln by Michael Tyzack

In Köln, two sorts of pictorial activity are jammed together, a colouristically and formally passive set of wide horizontal bands and a more visually active set of diagonals. The diamond format is spliced horizontally from corner to corner but the top and bottom triangles (which can obviously be read as bands whose outer width is co-terminous with the corner) are slightly wider - than the inner slices, visually compensating for their reduced area. The brown locks in to the strip of chromatic bands while tonal variations of the other two green and blue bands appear also. The left half of the variegated strip is black, which could be read as equally on the picture-surface as the other sombre slices, whereas the chromatic bands appear to be glimpsed behind these slices though shining forth through this 'aperture'.
Discounting the width of the brown band up the lower right edge, the diamond is 'secretly' bisected from lower left to top right at the edge of the black triangle, though we would assume the visually active area around the light brown beside the pink to constitute that division. One then senses a whole diagonal organisation overlaid by horizontal bands. Doubtless the title alludes to the diagonally thrusting effects of coloured light in Cologne's Gothic cathedral. Reference to the culture of spirituality and the formally tense relationship of vertical and diagonal indicate Tyzack's admiration for Barnett Newman, whose Chartres was produced in 1969.
Artist:Michael Tyzack
Artwork type:painting
Material:acrylic on canvas
Measurements:1524 x 1524 mm
Technique:impasto painting
Location:British Academy, Carlton House Terrace, London. View by appointment; please contact Ms. Jo Blore on 020 7969 5225
Rights owner:Michael Tyzack
Rights status:UK HE use only
Institution:Council for National Academic Awards

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