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Creator:
Ian Stephenson, 1934–2000, British
Title:

Diorama SS 10.67

Date:
1967
Medium:
Oil and enamel on two canvases
Dimensions:
Support (PTG): 66 × 66 inches (167.6 × 167.6 cm) and Overall: 66 × 132 inches (167.6 × 335.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Gift of Samuel and Gabrielle Lurie
Copyright Status:
© Estate of the Artist
Accession Number:
B2011.30.22
Classification:
Paintings
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
abstract art | dioramas
Access:
Not on view
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:63010
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Emerging on the London art scene in the 1960s, Ian Stephenson was one of several British artists whose work featured in Michelangelo Antonioni’s influential film Blow-Up (1966), alongside Alan Davie, whose work is displayed nearby. The following year he embarked upon a series of twelve dioramas, each consisting of two square canvases covered in small colored dots, in which the same image is repeated as if through an inverted mirror. Though Stephenson’s abstraction is suggestive of postwar American painting, and even the pointillism of Georges Seurat, he preferred to see himself as part of a much longer tradition of British painting, comparing his use of white dots in his dioramas to that of John Constable in his landscapes.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2020



In 1967, Stephenson embarked upon a series of twelve dioramas, each consisting of two square canvases covered in small colored dots, in which the same image is repeated as if through an inverted mirror. Stephenson saw himself within a long tradition of British painting, comparing his use of white dots in these dioramas to those of John Constable (1776–1837) in his landscapes. He was deeply inspired by the Romantic nature poets, and the sublime beauty of his work reflects these continuities and an attachment to nature and concern for beauty. In the 1970s he taught at the Chelsea School of Art, where his students included Christopher Le Brun (whose work is shown nearby).

Gallery label for Love, Life, Death, and Desire: An Installation of the Center's Collections (Yale Center for British Art, 2020-11-01 – 2021-02-28)

Love, Life, Death, and Desire: An Installation of the Center's Collections (Yale Center for British Art, 2020-10-01 - 2021-02-28) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

The Independent Eye: Contemporary Art from the Collection of Samuel and Gabrielle Lurie (Flowers Galleries, 2011-01-26 - ) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The Independent Eye: Contemporary Art from the Collection of Samuel and Gabrielle Lurie (Yale Center for British Art, 2010-09-16 - 2011-01-02) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Eleanor Hughes, The Independent Eye, Contemporary British Art from the Collection of Samuel and Gabrielle Lurie , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2010, pp. 16-17. 34, 47-48, 51-52, 53, 162-63, 164-65, 177, Cat. No. 67, pl. 67, fig. 5, fig. 30; image 65 on CD Rom, N6768 .I56 2010 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ian Stephenson, Paintings 1955-66 and 1966-77 , Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1977, p. 36, no. 50, NJ18 St396252 A12 1977 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel J. Lurie, Love and Art : A Personal, Passionate, Journey of Discovery with 101 works of superb less-known art, Eagle Art Publishing, Inc., New York, 2009, pp. 39, 52-53, fig. 24, N7477 L87 2009 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]


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