Mosque I

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‘For a while in the sixties, Coburn, whose later works blaze with the force of emotional content and hint at a profundity of hidden ambiguities, followed the colourfield trends in the art of that time. Devoid of content, these works underlined and proved beyond doubt that Coburn was a born master of colour, proportion and design. He was able to use colour like a source of energy, his force-field of birth and reason. Obviously it would not satisfy Coburn for long but his works at that time were highly successful examples of the genre.

‘Mosque I is representative of a particular period of very simple geometric paintings that I was doing in the sixties. Hard-edge was the main stream in art at that time. The most characteristic paintings of the sixties were Pop Art and hard-edge colourfield paintings. There are only three colours in Mosque I. White is important as colour here. It is a strong image, where I was concerned with the relationship of areas. Placement is urgent. I called it Mosque I because it reminds me of the Blue Mosque at Isfahan.’1

1. Amadio, N., John Coburn: Paintings, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1988, p. 68

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