Gary Wragg, Early Works 1968-1969

6 - 25 May 2010

In five folios of eighty-two watercolours Gary Wragg primarily investigated the activity of the edge in relation to open fields of colour, small accents of colour and shape in relation to large central colour areas.

The watercolours were direct statements of applying water-colour to water-colour paper, often including shapes and sensations of colour from Wragg’s immediate workplace that in a domestic space, or in the studio. They were essentially works of an intimate nature, as much as anything to play with the beauty of the medium itself and to retain its freshness and simplicity. The colours related to the day, the light of the moment, the feel of a place, igniting colour combinations, placement, accents and organization of spacing and divisions, and some unknown areas too.

The watercolours developed in groups: vertical edges, horizontal edges, vertical and horizontal edges, tilting central planes with wedge edges, and diagonal perspective divisions. Others played with grid divisions and some with undulating bands and edges. 

Wragg used tubes of watercolour, rather than the little cubes in a set, and squeezed the paint on directly - it was an inspiration to feel that English tradition of watercolour painting still had some real life in it, albeit that mainstream formal concerns of centre and edge influences, from Persian miniatures to Jules Olitski, Mark Rothko, Matisse’s Dance and Paul Klee’s playfulness were all part and parcel of the fun. 

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