Provenance: The Artist's Estate Annely Juda Gallery, London
Exhibitions: Prunella Clough. Unseen Reliefs, Drawings and Prints, Annely Juda Gallery, London, 2003
Literature: Ben Tufnell (ed.) Prunella Clough, Tate Publishing, 2007 (discussed p. 99 and illustrated p.101)
This unique relief is one of Prunella Clough's major sculptures.
Still-life was a long-time preoccupation of Prunella Clough's as was the juxtaposition or coexistence of disparate, even opposing, elements: hard and soft, taught and slack, structured and improvised, brutal and subtle, geometric and organic. The present work is typical of these concerns and of Clough's wit. As Michael Middleton wrote as early as 1960:
visual themes and images recur again and again. She likes seeing through things: glass, for example, and nets and space frames of one kind and anotherShe likes the sudden intrusion of something hard, and usually rectangular, into softer areas of indeterminacyit might almost be said that she turns everything into a still-life. (Michael Middleton, introduction to Prunella Clough, Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1960, p.10). In the catalogue for the Tate's Prunella Clough retrospective, Margaret Garlake discusses Bronze Relief and the use that Clough made of her own photographs. Garlake writes that 'she photographed a wire mesh factory gate topped by strands of barbed wire in which a piece of cloth was caught. Later again, she photographed cloths thrown down on the floor to see how they land. This idea matured into a plaster relief set against a plastic grid (Study for 'Bronze Relief 1970-94); it was subsequently cast in bronze in a slightly different form.' (Margaret Garlake, 'Fishermen and Velvet Kebabs: Prunella Clough's Subjects', Prunella Clough, Tate, 2007, p.99).