ithell colquhoun magician born of nature
© All texts copyright Richard Shillitoe 2015-16  All artworks copyright the estate of the artist.

alcove

1946 

Oil on board. 9 x 13½in. (22.9 x 34.3cm.) Provenance Sold by the Mayor Gallery, 1947. Burstow, Hewett, of Battle, Sussex, 15th Dec. 2004, lot 51. Red Raven Arts, London. Private collection. Exhibited London, Mayor Gallery, 1947, (paintings), no. 13. The setting resembles a cave, or tent, where folded curtains, or labia, part to reveal an event that is theatrical, ritualistic and sexual. The chrysalis-like forms are locked in an embrace, but the nature of their grip is ambiguous – is it a loving embrace or a death hold as one participant devours the other? The hermetic colours or red, yellow and blue predominate.  Alcove II (1948) is the counter-part to this decalcomania.