Prunella Clough (1919-1999) was one of Britain’s foremost senior painters.
She lived and worked in London all her life and her subjects are closely observed details and scenes from the urban landscape. These images are combined and filtered through memory, and evolve through a slow process of layering and re-working. The paintings, inhabiting a territory between abstraction and figuration, often combine a number of processes: brush-stroke, spray, stencil, collage, rubbing and drawing. Despite the rich diversity of images and treatments, Clough’s paintings are unified by their quietness and an almost graphic simplicity.
Examples of Clough’s work from a 50-year period are represented in many public and private collections, but opportunities to see a substantial selection of her work have been rare. Important solo exhibitions were held at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London in 1960 and the National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh in 1976. However, this was her first major public gallery show since exhibitions at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and Warwick Arts Trust, London in 1982. This exhibition presented over 40 key paintings made since 1970, including many new works. It had been organised in collaboration with Oriel 31, Newton, Wales.