James Wood: Landscape with tree, circa 1920 - on British Abstract Art

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James Wood:
Landscape with tree, circa 1920

Unmounted (ref: 1023)
Watercolour over charcoal and pencil, sight size 7 1/2 x 6 in. (19 x 15.3 cm.)

Tags: James Wood Abstract Art landscape trees



As an artist and intellectual,Wood was fascinated by ‘the treatment of form and colour’ and the ‘great advances made by the artists of the last generation’. Throughout his life he explored theories about colour and especially the relationship between sound and colour, which was the subject of a series of articles he published in The Cambridge Magazine between January and June 1918, in which, as he wrote,‘the whole problem was dealt with by a number of experts, psychologists, physicists and artists, in collaboration’. Wood was one of the earliest collectors of Kandinsky.  With I.A. Richards and C.K. Ogden as co-authors, Wood went on to publish The Foundation of Aesthetics (1922).

In an article on the influence of Kandinsky on British Art,  Adrian Glew wrote of Wood as follows:

"Whilst most of these artists moved on to different ends - Nevinson would launch the Futurist manifesto with Marinette several months later - the most specific, enduring, yet least known influence of Kandinsky on British artists at that time was on James Wood.  He had absorbed the lessons on colour theory, particularly those establishing correspondences between colour and musical tones, when studying at Percyval-Hart's art school in Paris in 1909, .... . These views were mirrored in Wood's own paintings, where the colour correspondences serve specific functions and where the image vibrates and resonates beyond the canvas."

Work by Wood is in the collection of the Yale Centre for British Art


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