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London, Grabowski Gallery, Michael Kidner, painting: William Tucker, sculpture, 28 March - 21 April 1962
Bradford, Bradford City Art Gallery, Spring Exhibition 1963
London, Serpentine Gallery, Michael Kidner: Painting, Drawing and Sculpture, 1959-1984, organised by the Arts Council of Great Britain, 4 November - 2 December 1984; this exhibition travelled to Newcastle upon Tyne, 30 January - 2 March 1985
Kidner began painting in 1950. Having spent time in Paris, under the tutelage of André Lh, Kidner developed an interest in the Cubist movement and later in the work of the American Abstract Expressionists. By the early 1960s Kidners work had become more systematic, as he bought a scientific approach to his work and his exploration of colour and form. Tuscany Church was painted at a crucial time in Kidner's development as an artist when he was particularly interested in the notion of the after image. The work belongs to a series of 'hard-edge' pieces which comprise two large circular forms positioned one above the other.
'An after-image was the purest experience of colour I could recall and because it occurs on the retina of the eye, it looks brighter than any surrounding colour.'
Tuscany Church was included in his first one-man exhibition at the Grabowski Gallery in 1962. The thinking behind his practice during this period lead to Kidner becoming one of the pioneers of Op art in the mid-1960s. Exhibiting alongside Bridget Riley and Ellsworth Kelly in the now infamous 1965 exhibition The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Op artists became highly influential on fashion and design and helped shape the look of the swinging 60s.