I understand
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1926 – 2014

Landscape Composition
Watercolour on paper
33.2 x 48.6 cm
Purchased 1953. © Estate of the Artist. Photography Norman Taylor


This watercolour landscape was acquired from Reynolds’ first solo exhibition and is an excellent example of his early painterly interest in transforming the natural world.

As he described: ‘Poetry is never absent from Nature, but alone it cannot constitute a work of art. It must be reconciled with the elements of design and composition.’

During the late 1950s, Reynolds moved towards pure abstraction with the use of simple geometric forms, often in sculptural relief. But a quest for equilibrium remained consistent: ‘The sense of joy on the one hand and of tragedy on the other. And man stands in between.’