Prunella Clough is widely appreciated as one of the most significant British artists of the post-war period. Her work consists of paintings, collages, drawings and reliefs which demonstrate the characteristic development of her work through her various influences – notably cubism and European abstraction. In this exhibition, we will be showing works from the 1940’s right up to those made the year before her death in 1999; figurative still life’s to abstract colour works, collages, oil paintings and works on paper, reflecting the huge variety and richness of Prunella Clough’s life and work.
Clough explored a range of themes and subjects during her long career. At the heart of her practice was exploration; either through the subject or studio based experimentation. Clough’s early work was very much based on observation; she made studies of fisherman and fishing ports , lorry drivers in their cabs and weavers among the looms in the textile mills. These paintings are rendered in muted tones and colours, often reflecting the industrial nature of the settings.
Clough would continue to use directly observed forms in her work and these appropriated images sometimes reoccur in the later works where everyday objects are juxtaposed with abstract forms and shapes. These works are, at times, humorous and serious, beautiful and discordant. These subtle contradictions show Clough’s apparent love of painting and it is these aspects that has made her work so popular.