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Blazing a Trail / Ithell Colquhoun (British, 1906-1988) Still Water 46 x 37.8 cm. (18 1/8 x 14 7/8 in.)

Lot 10
Ithell Colquhoun
(British, 1906-1988)
Still Water 46 x 37.8 cm. (18 1/8 x 14 7/8 in.)
28 September 2022, 15:00 BST
London, New Bond Street

£5,000 - £8,000

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Ithell Colquhoun (British, 1906-1988)

Still Water
signed and dated 'Colquhoun/47' (lower right)
oil on board
46 x 37.8 cm. (18 1/8 x 14 7/8 in.)


The Artist, 1984, from whom acquired by
Paul Conran
With Blond Fine Art, London, where acquired by
Private Collection, U.K., thence by descent to the present owner
Private Collection, U.K.

London, Mayor Gallery, Exhibition of Paintings by Ithell Colquhoun, 5-29 March 1947, cat.no.21
Cambridge, Heffer Gallery, Ithell Colquhoun: Paintings and Drawings 1942-1953, 20 April–9 May 1953, cat.no.9
Penzance, Newlyn Art Gallery, Ithell Colquhoun: Retrospective Exhibition of Oil Paintings, 2–27 October 1961, cat.no.24
Exeter, City Art Museum and Art Gallery, Ithell Colquhoun: Paintings, Collages and Drawings, 26 September–21 October 1972, cat.no.9
London, Leva Gallery, Ithell Colquhoun: An Exhibition of Surrealist Paintings and Drawings from 1930-1950, 29 October–16 November 1974, cat.no.21
Colchester, The Minories, A Salute to British Surrealism 1930-1950, 6 April-5 May 1985, cat.no.24; this exhibition later travelled to Blond Fine Art, London, 22 May–22 June; Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, 6 July–4 August

The immediate inspiration for this painting was a pond on Hampstead Heath, although the central motif of a grove of trees surrounding a pool of water also carried obvious pagan associations for Colquhoun. A related painting of the pool, Genius Loci (1946), also makes reference to the tutelary deities of springs and ponds. A photograph of the work was published in the Hampstead Express, Friday, 27 March 1953 to illustrate a report of a TV demonstration given by the artist on automatic processes, such as decalcomania, which she used extensively for the group of trees in this painting.

A sketchbook in the Tate archive contains several drawings of the scene.

We are grateful to Richard Shillitoe for compiling this catalogue entry.

Additional information