CactusArtist(s)Graham SutherlandArtist NationalityBritish (modern)Object Creation Date1950Medium & Supportoil on canvasDimensions
23 x 20 1/4 in. (58.4 x 51.3 cm);23 x 20 1/4 in. (58.4 x 51.3 cm);32 3/16 x 39 1/2 x 2 5/16 in. (81.6 x 100.33 x 5.72 cm)Credit LineMuseum PurchaseLabel copy
March 28, 2009
The starting point of Sutherland’s paintings is often a natural found object, such as a tree root or a fragment of a bush, isolated from its surroundings and presented close up. With their strange and mysterious growths at the top and more conventional sculptural bottoms, figures like Cactus were referred to by Sutherland as “monuments and presences.” “The forms,” he explained, “are based on principles of organic growth,” following their own unruly and proliferating nature. In a statement on his own process, the artist was reluctant to explain too much: “if one duty of painting is to explain the essence of things and emotions,” he said, “may it not be sometimes wise for the spectator simply to accept?”Primary Object Classification Painting Primary Object TypeabstractAdditional Object Classification(s)PaintingCollection AreaModern and ContemporaryRights
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modern and contemporary art
oil painting (technique)