Brancaster Chronicles No. 77: John Pollard Paintings and Sculptures

Pseudo-Obstruction 80x120cm (all paintings acrylic on canvas)

Pseudo-Obstruction 80x120cm (all paintings acrylic on canvas)

26th October 2019, near Kings Lynn.

Taking part: Anne Smart, Anthony Smart, Hilde Skilton, Mark Skilton, Sarah Greenwood, Robin Greenwood, Charley Greenwood, Richard Ward, Noela James, John Pollard

Buzzing When It's Packed 80x120cm

Buzzing When It’s Packed 80x120cm

Apostle Complex 50x50cm

Apostle Complex 50x50cm

Speedy Greedy 60x60cm

Speedy Greedy 60x60cm)

Time Fleets On 80x120cm

Time Fleets On 80x120cm

Noontide 30x30cm

Noontide 30x30cm

Concept-Quake 30x40cm

Concept-Quake 30x40cm

Drop 30x40cm

Rainbow Transition 30x40cm

Construction No 1 (view 1 H22cm mild steel)

Construction No 1 (view 1 H22cm mild steel)

Construction No 1 (view 2 H22cm mild steel)

Construction No 1 (view 2)

Construction No 1 (view 3 H22cm mild steel)

Construction No 1 (view 3)

Construction No 1 (view 4 H22cm mild steel)

Construction No 1 (view 4)

Construction No 2 (view 1 H20cm mild steel)

Construction No 2 (view 1 H20cm mild steel)

Construction No 2 (view 2 H20cm mild steel)

Construction No 2 (view 2)

Construction No 2 (view 3 H20cm mild steel)

Construction No 2 (view 3)

Construction No 2 (view 4 H20cm mild steel)

Construction No 2 (view 4)

  1. Richard Ward said:

    For me, “Speedy Greedy” makes the most satisfying and resolved image. In spite of its rich complexity and variety, each part of it seems entirely necessary to the whole.
    I think it had some problems with a (partly) poorly integrated surface in the flesh, but here it looks great.

    “Time Fleets on” approaches that same kind of wholeness on a screen but the layering falls apart completely in the flesh (Tony called it “literal space” I think).

    The bottom third of “Pseudo Obstruction” is gorgeous – invitingly spatial and flooded with light. But for me it gets crushed by a kind of voodoo darkness conjured up by the black lines above. That said, I think this one works as a resolved image, complete and necessary in its parts, and without the disintegrating tendencies of “Time Fleets on” and “Speedy Greedy”.


  2. Saul Greenberg said:

    Howdy Richard

    I have enjoyed your comments on John Pollard and especially Harry Hay.
    Is ‘…poorly integrated surface’ the same as ‘…fractured materiality’?


    • Richard Ward said:

      Hello Saul
      Yes, visually it’s the same sort of thing that I mean. With Harry’s collages I seem to remember loose edges of paper physically standing out, so “fractured materiality” seemed appropriate. “Speedy Greedy” and “Time Fleets on” are all paint but there are some marks that sit so clearly on top of or behind everything else that it is very difficult to see them integrated into an unbroken surface (which is what is actually there).
      It’s as if at those points, all the things (shape, colour, materiality, edges, relationships etc.) that determine the mark’s position in pictorial space are working in the same direction or are dominated by one massive factor, and this prevents the kind of simultaneity of depth (transcendence/illusion) and surface (material) that gives “life” to a painting.


  3. Noela James said:

    For me ‘Pseudo-Obstruction’ is the strongest work, I feel John has used greens dynamically without reference to landscape. The jiggery pokery rhythm is varied and constant throughout the painting, movement with containment and excitement. There is a kind of visual interlocking which travels across the surface.


  4. anne smart said:

    Hello there John
    I have so much enjoyed your film .
    Participating in your Chronicle on the day was great fact seeing your panting and Harry’s and Richards together has been fascinating

    I don’t know why I think its important but I agree with Richard when he intimates that some of your paintings ‘work’ better and seem stronger on screen. I’m probably jealous. My work often looks rubbish in a screen image !…..why ….?

    I have read recently commentators saying of other artists ‘abstract’ work that it has a feeling of familiarity,a sense of something they know or have known.
    I feel that about “Pseudo-Obstruction’..only a little…maybe there is a sort of disintegrating symbol I have noted in some Alan Davie , his are whole yours are brilliantly painted in a way in which they go in and out of the space.
    I don’t think its a bad thing , this feeling, I am ambivalent, but I don’t seek it in my work.

    I ‘like’ Richard’s comments in that they all make so much sense. I can’t not agree with them.

    I was intrigued by your comment on Harry’s painting, in connection with your own paintings here.
    Its about doing two things at once.
    In Harry’s “Word Go’ you say that,for you, the green and white area is able to sit on top and recede ,and you finish with “doing both jobs at the same time seems to often be an important part of a successful complex abstract painting”

    Well I really go with that….Doing “both jobs” at the same time is,as you say,important in abstract{complex] painting. In the film I noticed parts of your paintings were being described as being “on top” of each other. I remember thinking and I said in the film….. sort of “laminated”
    I really go with that too….apart from often those two things emanate from the same defined space or place in the painting. For me that could sectionalise that area and make the whole painting have to work harder to achieve its resolution , which may be an impossible endeavour towards the unification of the whole painting .
    Maybe it’s a relational…. non-relational exploration?
    I also would hope a complex abstract painting should be, in those explorations, searching out much more than two ‘things’ , whether in small units that dove-tail together or across the whole surface in order to unite with the same intensity.

    ….I still don’t know how to tick the ‘like’ box

    So…I LIKE…… your paintings and what they make me think about.


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