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Ian Stephenson, 1934–2000, British

Diorama SS 10.67

Oil and enamel on two canvases
Support (PTG) (Each canvas): 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:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
abstract art | dioramas
Not on view

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

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)

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

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