Sutherland, Graham (1903-1980), 'Study for 'Poised Form in a Landscape', Watercolour and Ink on paper, 1968

'Study for 'Poised Form in a Landscape', Watercolour and Ink on paper, 1968

Signed with initials and dated ‘Sept 1968’ by the artist in pen. A study for the larger oil on canvas, ‘Poised Form in a Landscape’ (1969), measuring 117 x 170 cm.

The large-scale ‘Poised Form in a Landscape’, for which this watercolour is a study, is based upon the interlocking forms of a gnarled oak tree. The Sutherland scholar John Hayes suggests ‘it seems to possess something of the power and rhythm of an engine in motion’.

In 1967, Sutherland returned to Pembrokeshire for the first time in over 20 years for an Italian documentary film. He found himself so reinvigorated by the unique scenery of the area, which had greatly stimulated him from 1934 to 1946, that from 1967 until his death he would visit Pembrokeshire frequently, usually for a month during summer and a fortnight at Christmas.

From his base at either The Lord Nelson Hotel, Milford Haven, or Benton Castle, Sutherland would venture into the surrounding countryside. He took photographs and made sketches at his favorite haunts including St Ishmael’s, the walled wood by Monk’s Haven, and the small estuaries of Picton and Sandy Haven. It was here that he observed the seaweed encrusted, twisted oak tree roots, exposed by the receding tides, which were to so inspire this work and the group of similar subjects which were to follow.

Sutherland developed his sketches into larger more finished studio paintings on his return to France. These included ‘Poised Form in a Landscape’ (1969), ‘Poised Form in an Estuary’ (1970-1971), ‘Trees on a River Bank’ (1971), ‘Forest with Chains’ (1971-72) and ‘Form in an Estuary’.

Paper Size 19.5 x 27.5 cm
Provenance Redfern Gallery
Literature Hayes, John, ‘Graham Sutherland’, Hippo- crene Books, 1980

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