Mary Fedden

Lamplight

  • Signed and dated '1990' (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 30 x 36 ins

Sold

Provenance:
Royal Academy, London, Summer Exhibition 1990, where purchased by the present owner

Exhibited:
London, Royal Academy, Summer Exhibition 1990, cat. no. 94

Literature:
Christopher Andreae, Mary Fedden, Enigmas and Variations, Lund Humphries, 2207, ill. p.25

In this joyful composition, Mary has positioned objects on a set of shelves in such a way as to create an ambiguous space; the bowl of fruit disappears under the shelf, the bottles extend above the shelf while the grapes teeter over the shelf-edge. At the top of the composition, two jars and a pot of tea balance precariously on a ledge. The 'shetland lamp' is also apparently hanging on a hook rather than resting on a shelf, as it first appears.

The depiction of the objects themselves adds to the jaunty feeling; only some of the objects are shaded, some have shadows, others seem to float. The bottles are intentionally flattened, with a straight line, where one would, in reality, see a curve along the bottom edge of the bottle.

Mary has also used text as a playful device, leaving some of the letters in 'Gin' and 'Tea' hidden, allowing the viewer to fill in the missing letters, a device she uses again in works such as Milk White Roses (catalogue no. 42)