Eye Wandering the Ceiling: Ornament and New Brutalism

Eye Wandering the Ceiling: Ornament and New Brutalism Detail from Nigel Henderson and Eduardo Paolozzi, Study for ‘Parallel of Life and Art’, 1952 (plate ).We are in a room looking upwards at a ceiling and across towards two sash windows (plate ). Any objects of use are in the bottom left of this room: an angle‐poise lamp, a coat hanger, and a blackboard. Half of our view is filled with the ceiling and its pattern of black marks on white. Black and white is a presumption here, of course, but from what we can see of the walls of the room three areas of the same colour as its ground fringe the ceiling. ‘Pattern’ is another presumption, and one that seems increasingly dubious the more carefully we look. The marks are mainly lines of different widths (somewhere between a few millimetres and a centimetre or so) and various kinds and sizes of dot or blotch, mostly circular but occasionally more rectangular. Across the ceiling these marks sometimes coalesce into dense and complex thickets and sometimes separate out, freeing up areas of white. And at some of the ceiling's edges the marks refuse contact with the walls, suggesting the vignette effect of a cubist painting. As one looks http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Art History Wiley

Eye Wandering the Ceiling: Ornament and New Brutalism

Art History , Volume 41 (2) – Jan 1, 2018

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© Association for Art History 2018
ISSN
0141-6790
eISSN
1467-8365
D.O.I.
10.1111/1467-8365.12331
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Detail from Nigel Henderson and Eduardo Paolozzi, Study for ‘Parallel of Life and Art’, 1952 (plate ).We are in a room looking upwards at a ceiling and across towards two sash windows (plate ). Any objects of use are in the bottom left of this room: an angle‐poise lamp, a coat hanger, and a blackboard. Half of our view is filled with the ceiling and its pattern of black marks on white. Black and white is a presumption here, of course, but from what we can see of the walls of the room three areas of the same colour as its ground fringe the ceiling. ‘Pattern’ is another presumption, and one that seems increasingly dubious the more carefully we look. The marks are mainly lines of different widths (somewhere between a few millimetres and a centimetre or so) and various kinds and sizes of dot or blotch, mostly circular but occasionally more rectangular. Across the ceiling these marks sometimes coalesce into dense and complex thickets and sometimes separate out, freeing up areas of white. And at some of the ceiling's edges the marks refuse contact with the walls, suggesting the vignette effect of a cubist painting. As one looks

Journal

Art HistoryWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

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