The colours and shapes in this piece make an instant impact. The mint green and orange red complement and contrast with each other, as does the stark shadow of the vase against its surroundings. The crisp lines and striking colours typical of Patrick's work are balanced out by the painterly rendering of the soft flowers. The warm olive backdrop brings together the two contrasting colours of green and red, with a soft gradient fading towards the white table. Somewhere nearby is a source of light touching the side of the vase and creating the dramatic shadow underneath, adding a complementary diagonal line among the verticals and horizontals. The black of the shadow is also echoed in between the flowers, which ties the colours together in the viewer's eye.
Patrick worked mainly in watercolour and various printmaking methods, with a particular fondness for colour aquatint. He became very successful in both media at a time when they were very unfashionable. The artist painted a variety of subjects - landscapes, portraits and still lifes. Pastels and bright hues are characteristic of his work, along with a flat style of painting planes of colour also seen in the work of David Hockney. He travelled extensively which is evident from many pieces based on exotic locations in the far East.
Patrick Proctor (b.1938 in Dublin, d.2003) grew up in London and studied at Slade School of Art 1958-62, followed immediately by a successful solo show at the Redfern Gallery in London which launched his career. A contemporary and friend of David Hockney, Francis Bacon, Cecil Beaton and Derek Jarman, Patrick was a well-known character in the art scene through the 1960s and 70s. He was elected Royal Academician in 1995 and his work is included in prestigious collections such as: Collections: Arts Council of Great Britain, Contemporary Art Society, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, New College in Oxford, Tate Gallery in London and Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester.
With thanks to CCA Galleries, Gallery 17 and the London Evening Standard