Edward Bullmore

untitled


gouache, ink and pencil on paper
210mm x 250mm

Provenance

Acquired from Canterbury Gallery, Christchurch.

Essay

Ted Bullmore (1933 – 1978) lived and worked in London from 1960 until late 1969, during the heyday of British post-War exuberance. In his near decade in London he was an elect...

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Estimate $500 - $1,000
Achieved $632.50

Edward Bullmore

Colour Diagrams & Details 3D Works London

gouache, ink and pencil on card

signed EB and inscribed P. 10 Colour Diagrams & Details 3D Works London in graphite verso

255mm x 200mm

Auction N˚1

Estimate $500 - $1,000

Achieved $1,437.50

Bullmore in London

by Ruth Watson

Ted Bullmore (1933 – 1978) lived and worked in London from 1960 until late 1969, during the heyday of British post-War exuberance. In his near decade in London he was an elected member of the London Group and was included in a variety of notable group exhibitions, including Painting Becomes Sculpture Becomes Painting at the Hayward Gallery in 1968. That title reflects key developments Bullmore was making, exploring the relationship between colour, space and form in works that stretched canvas around a variety of experimental, often curvaceous frames (that could arguably be considered a precursor to Judy Millar’s recent explorations). His works blurred inside and outside, back and front and were variously suggestive of body parts, both male and female, sometimes at the same time.

The drawing Colour Diagrams & Details 3D Works London is explicitly labelled as a series of sketches or plans for the creation of Astroforms, a series Bullmore worked on while in London. The drawings are vigorous, with strong colour and clearly defined forms. One has the words ‘torso into fuselage’ next to it, concerns shared with another London period series, titled Hikurangi. The second drawing reveals the construction alongside a sketch of the completed work. A work from the Astroform series famously appears in Stanley Kubrick’s notorious film A Clockwork Orange, gracing the entranceway of the writer’s house, and can be seen in the background of several shots, especially when the main character Alex wrecks the writer’s study. The work fits perfectly alongside the other examples of ultramodern design in the film, including Eero Saarinen furniture and the interior of the house known as Skybreak, designed by Sir Norman Foster in 1964-66.

Bullmore returned to New Zealand to become an art teacher in Rotorua, never again reaching the career heights of his London phase. Local curated exhibitions of his work have generally emphasised his range of media and subjects, so his most innovative work – particularly the Astroforms and perhaps also another, related group, titled Icons – have rarely been shown in isolation. The two drawings here clearly show plans for the construction of new works, showing the deliberate fusion of body parts, the joyous colour, and the relentlessly innovative forms characteristic of his strongest work.