Current Exhibition

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham
'Joy of Colour: The Late Paintings & Prints'

3rd February to 24th February 2018

"Letting rip" is how Wilhelmina Barns-Graham described making her late work, with colour defining these energetic paintings and prints. As a founding member of the St Ives group, Barns-Graham is acclaimed foremost as a British Modernist, shaping the development of 20th Century British art together with Terry Frost, Barbara Hepworth and Christopher Wood. However, it was her late work which immediately connected with an even wider audience, who relished the 'joie de vivre', colour and energy created by the artist in the last decade of her life. These late paintings have become highly prized amongst Modern British collectors today and Bohun Gallery's major exhibition marks a unique opportunity for these enthusiasts, with some of the finest images created by Barns-Graham during this richly creative decade.


Wilhelmina Barns-Graham was a master of her craft, an artist perfectly attuned to every nuance of each hue and tone. Furthermore, she had the unusual gift of synaesthesia. This meant that sensations she experienced were translated intuitively into specific colours with attendant harmonies and discords. Colour played a central role throughout her life but it is in these late works where it explodes with new invigoration, each brush mark saturated with a different colour.


A pivotal moment came in 1998 when she agreed to make screenprints with Carol Robertson of Graal Press. What started tentatively for the 86 year old artist turned into perhaps the most productive, creative period of her life and realised an exceptional body of work, with sixty five editions made within her final five years. Indeed, there was often cross fertilisation of ideas between her painting and printmaking. This hugely successful output, which one can define as a true collaboration between the artist and technician, proved to be an extraordinary finale to an extraordinary career.

Click any image to see a larger view

Spring Series, 1998

Acrylic on paper
11½ x 15¼ ins



Untitled, c2000

Acrylic on paper
8¼ x 8 ins



Untitled, 1998

Acrylic on paper
15 x 22¾ ins



Untitled, 1998

Acrylic on paper
15 x 11½ ins



September Music, 1999

Mixed media on paper
22½ x 30 ins



Untitled, c1990

Acrylic on paper
15¼ x 23 ins



Nov, 2002

Acrylic on paper
7½ x 7½ ins



Breeze, 1999

Acrylic on paper
22¾ x 30¼ ins



Scorpio Series 2 , c1996

Acrylic on paper
22¾ x 30 ins



Square and Triangle on Pink and Lemon, 1987

Oil and mixed media
7 x 10 ins



Untitled, c2000

Acrylic on paper
6 x 6 ins



Untitled, 2003

Acrylic on board
7 x 7½ ins



Untitled, 2003

Acrylic on paper
9¾ x 9¾ ins



Untitled, 2003

Acrylic on paper
9¾ x 9¾ ins



Untitled, 1980

Oil on board
6 x 7¾ ins



Vision in Time III, 2006

Silkscreen
30 x 22¾ ins



Cardinal, 1999

Silkscreen
22¾ x 30¼ ins



Eclipse, 1999

Etching
22 x 25¾ ins



Red Playing Games III, 2001

Silkscreen
11½ x 15¾ ins



November IV, 1991

Silkscreen
22 x 29¾ ins



Orange and Red on Pink, 1991

Silkscreen
30 x 19¼ ins



Another Time, 1999

Silkscreen, ed. of 75
22.44 x 29.92 ins



Cobalt and Orange Playing Games, 2006

Silkscreen
11½ x 15¾ ins



Two Elements, 2006

Silkscreen
22 x 22 ins



Two Circles on Purple, 1992

Lithograph
23½ x 29½ ins



Homage to Johnny, 2002

Silkscreen
10½ x 13¾ ins



Red Playing Games IV, 2006

Silkscreen
11¾ x 15¾ ins



White Circle Series I , 2003

Silkscreen, ed. of 70
22 x 22 ins



Cobalt and Pink Playing Games, 2006

Silkscreen
11½ x 15¾ ins



Three Elements, 2006

Silkscreen
22¾ x 30 ins



Orange and Lemon Playing Games II, 1999

Silkscreen
11½ x 16 ins



Runabout Time, 2006

Silkscreen
22 x 30 ins



Red Playing Games II, 2006

Silkscreen
11½ x 15¾ ins



Cobalt Playing Games, 2006

Silkscreen
11½ x 17¾ ins



Untitled Composition, 2006

Silkscreen
11½ x 14¼ ins



Sunghrie I, 2001

Silkscreen, limited ed. of 100
23 x 30 ins



SLAD logo Bohun Gallery is open
Tuesday to Saturday
10am to 5pm. Closed
weekday lunchtimes
1.15pm to 2.15pm.