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Thomas Arthur McCormack
27 April 188326 June 1973


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Sea and Rocks, on the opposite page, comes out better, and there we have a sort of rapid monochrome distillation of all McCormack's studies in the open of objects which he has so often invested with his own particular poetry of light and colour. But here he has got down rather to essential movement and I imagine that in this sketch, after preliminary thought, his brush moved somewhat with the speed of his breaking wave T.A. McCormack: Irises (1936) The Head, above, reproduces least well: there is a delicacy about the line and the faint blue wash of the original, a quality of ‘floatingness’ which is inevitably lost through mechanical process on coated paper; but the experiment is so unusual with McCormack that the further experiment of reproduction is justified With The Flowerpiece we have stillness, though stillness with, in the original, almost sparkle. It is in the tradition of those still lifes, never reduced to a formula, in which McCormack has produced an astonishing and subtle network of colour; and if you look at this for a while you get almost the illusion of colour, so skilful is the balance, the interaction, of black and white. The drawing might be a preliminary study for something larger, but I do not think it is. It stands on its own, sel…


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