Winter Farm signed and dated 'Paul Nash/1931' (lower right) pencil and watercolour 66.5 x 46.5 cm. (26 1/4 x 18 1/4 in.) Also known as Woodstacks at Iden
PROVENANCE: Rex Nankivell Anthony Crossley, 1949 Thence by family descent
EXHIBITED: London, Agnew's, March 1931, no.44 London, The Redfern Gallery, January 1932, no.73 London, The Redfern Gallery, January 1949, no.17
LITERATURE: Apollo Magazine, April 1931 Andrew Causey, Paul Nash, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1980, p.417, no.715
Upon return from Toulon in April 1930, the Nash's moved from their home at Oxenbridge Cottage, Iden, to New House at Rye. Winter Farm, or Woodstacks at Iden as it has also been known, was begun before they made this move and falls into the post 1925 period that Andrew Causey has noted as yielding many important pictures with the balance shifting back to watercolour.
In Winter Farm the structure of the composition is carefully executed with accentuated perspectives that enhance the dramatic effect. The work bears similarities to the celebrated oil painting of 1929 Landscape at Iden (Tate Gallery), which shows a view from the back of Oxenbridge Cottage to the Isle of Oxney in the distance. In the present work, the eye is drawn into the pile of logs dividing the relatively sparse and constricted foreground from the more developed and free flowing background with the inclusion of the fence further adding to this concept of separation. There does not appear to be a way through the woodpile other than perhaps in the corner where the logs almost meet, however, even here the inclusion and positioning of the tree and stand make this difficult.
Whilst executed at a time of change for the Nash family, Winter Farm falls into a period of successful artistic output, showcasing the influence of both abstraction and surrealism.