Arrangement in Turquoise and Cream (1979–1981)
by David Hepher (b.1935)
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: H 193 x W 275 cm
The artist describes himself as a landscape painter although we could describe this as an urban cityscape. Hepher is interested in depicting relatable housing in a modern and documentary style. He describes blocks like these as impressive – everyday local housing interests him in the same way as grand country houses interested artists of the past. Does the artist indicate their architectural worthiness in the way the building fills the composition?
The word 'arrangement' in the title seems to indicate an emphasis on composition. The flats look very modular and the repetition of geometric shapes makes them appear quite rhythmic and homogeneous. Does this regularity affect our view of the lives of the people who live here?
The block looms over us from a low viewpoint and extends beyond the picture's plane at the top to appear never-ending. Does the scale of the building make it look powerful and dignified or machine-made and intimidating? What signs of individuality and decoration can you see?