Fifty years ago in New York, in addition to painting and printmaking I created a series of (very) small collages, which until now have never seen the light of day. Like some of my paintings of that period (see the previous recent posts) many of these collages employ graphic and text elements. Here is a selection of these, scanned on a larger scale to reveal the detail (most are only a few inches in any dimension)
35th St Breakdown (1966) 3' x 5'
South on Third (1966) 2' x 3.7' Ave A (1967) 2' x 3'
Living as we did just off Union Square above the Village, we often crisscrossed the square, notable mainly for its low end storefronts and grungy subway station. In the sixties it was less than chic, although Andy Warhol's Factory and Max's Kansas City made their appearance there. But its main occupant at the time was S. Klein, a fading discount emporium on the east side of the square with a garish front. Eventually it closed and the boarded up front was a sorry sight. I could not resist painting it.
I arrived in New York from England in 1965 to study at New York University and the Pratt Graphic Arts Institute. Prior to my arrival I had been focusing on printmaking, but living in the city near Greenwich Village and newly exposed to the exciting and rapidly changing urban culture and art world of New York, I rented space in a communal loft studio and began painting again. Painting for the first time on canvas and now incorporating collage using graphics, found objects and torn playbills, my work, although still structured, took on a much looser, more textured look. I have already featured some paintings from these years on this blog, but here are three never before shown: