Skip to main content

Blacks with Yellow and Green by Justin Knowles

Blacks with Yellow and Green by Justin Knowles
Accession Code: wu0124
Title: Blacks with Yellow and Green
Date completed: 1967
Medium: Painting
Location Name: Millburn House
Location Description: Film and Television Studies
Location Floor: 2

Justin Knowles is a self taught painter and, possibly as a result of this, feels free to use colours straight from their tubes and to apply paint without becoming either mechanically immaculate or self consciously painterly. Blacks with Yellow and Green is concerned with suggested and real displacement. The shaped canvas and the painted shapes look as though they have slipped. Justin Knowles' paintings can be disturbing because they counter a perception of things as 'wholes' or complete forms, where in any missing parts (like the section of the canvas which would make the black painted circle complete) are mentally added in. However, the colour in his work is so clear and bold that it asserts itself as the stable element. The range of colours used is very limited and the acrylic paint is applied without any mixing. The flat surface of the colour evokes few associations. Variation and development within this painting are achieved by juxtaposing standard hues. In this painting the black areas have a trace of a contrasting colour laid along their edge. The green and yellow lines are only really perceptible on close inspection but when viewed from a distance they soften the black shapes and help to suggest that they are floating away from the unpainted canvas areas.