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Patrick Caulfield

This video brought to you by Tate.org.uk

In the 1960s onwards, British artist Patrick Caulfield radically re-imagined traditional genres such as still life and domestic interiors in his pop art creations. Drawing on the simplified techniques of sign painters, Caulfield dispensed with visual brushwork and distracting detail, simplifying everyday objects to basic black outlines and fills of uniform colour. Through this simplification, Caulfield took ordinary images and turned them into something iconic. Join Tate Director Nicolas Serota and artist Dexter Dalwood as they share their impressions of two of Caulfield's larger works: Interior with a Picture (1985-86) and Dining Recess (1972), which despite their later creation, still have the look and feel of '60s pop art.

What do you think of Caulfield's paintings? Can a simple line drawing still be a great work of art, and even make you see the world in a different way?
Created by Tate.

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  • mr pants teal style avatar for user Anthony Natoli
    Who classified "Interior with a Picture" as Pop Art? And why? Is it due to the mundane subject matter and the replication of the mundane wall paper?

    "Interior with a Picture" appears more like a Surrealist or Metaphysical art work such as those of De Chirico, but in a domestic setting.
    (2 votes)
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    • purple pi purple style avatar for user Residuum
      It was made during the time of pop art. The bold lines are similar to Lichtenstein's comic book style. And as you said, the mundane subject matter seems to be a hallmark of pop art. I believe a lot of art doesn't fit into one category, but for simplicity's sake it's grouped together into movements or time frames, to make it easier to study or understand.
      (2 votes)
  • orange juice squid orange style avatar for user Daniel Rigal
    Is the still life within "Interior with a Picture" a copy of a painting by another artist? If so, is there any significance to the specific choice or is it just a still life as good as any other? Is there any connection with the way that Lichtenstein also uses other pictures within his pictures? Clearly it is not exactly the same, as Caufield is not imposing his own style on the picture within the picture the way that Lichtenstein does.
    (1 vote)
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Video transcript

you know looking at Patrick's paintings for the first time really challenged my own aesthetic I think I'd probably Ruby regardez only interested in sort of me seein architecture and design it's a totally different aesthetic for mine it's probably quite southern it's certainly not very English and I think it's really fascinating I think one of the things about the painting is that it has these different modes of representation all the way through it you know you on the one hand you have this very intense still life and then you see a simplified version of stairs in a restaurant somewhere perhaps and then he uses all these extraordinary techniques it takes his flock wallpaper which was taken from probably a small scrap that he'd saved from somewhere he's always fascinated by the way in which i think italian plasterers and painters decorate restaurants and other things so you have this thick paint at a certain point giving you not just a trompe l'oeil but a really 3d effect it's a very very knowing artist he really understood about the way in which right falls on a subject I'm absolutely fascinated by his use of color and fascinated by the way in which he took subjects that I would never have considered you know the subjects for painting and turn them into something which is really absolutely intriguing and makes you see the world in a different way this is really fantastic pencil drawing which is just it's all very very careful with that and rubbed out and change the rubdown changed so everything is worked out before we get to the painting the mistake is to see him directly as a pop artist and I think that whole relationship of that term in time or shift what I really like about is just how hard call the paintings are in the sense that they're so pared down but I think it was very hard you know at that point in the early seventies to make paintings which weren't about other issues just to stick with his core interests and sort of just tough it out what's amazing about his work when it is great is that it's intelligent picture making which is as sophisticated because anything else and in other words I said it's the pared-down this of saying no it's not about gesture no it's not about always other things no it's definitely not about abstract expressionist it's about a kind of idea of looking back for the structure of interior spaces within painting and rethinking it and coming up with a new version of it I think that's what's tough and slightly perverse