Summer Show 4 [1971]: Van Gogh had been dead 10 years before he achieved recognition

3–25 Jul 1971 Free

The fourth show of the Serpentine’s summer 1971 programme heralded the talent of exciting contemporary artists.

The show carried the extended title Van Gogh had been dead 10 years before he achieved recognition: Peter Cartwright, Colin Finn, Ann Gattward, Michael North, David Shepherd might just make it sooner.

Colin Finn, Michael North, David Shepherd and Peter Cartwright each exhibited their work in one of the Serpentine’s five galleries (the artist Patrick Ward had also been scheduled to take part but did not feature in the final exhibition). David Shepherd showed some of his pieces on the gallery’s East Lawn while Ann Gattward’s 40 windmills were on the roof. These windmills formed part of a series of wind-activated sculptures responding to the environment around the Serpentine Gallery.

Other work on display included Michael North’s silkscreens and etchings in the Print Gallery and Colin Finn’s Seven Elements – Four Times. Finn wrote that this work “consists of twenty-eight nine-foot strips and sixteen-inch-wide canvas laid end to end along the top, bottom and vertical edges of the gallery. Seven chemical elements are used. Each element is painted on to four of the canvas strips… In this work, a series of surfaces are employed to display a set of substances – their colour is merely an incidental attribute and their significance does not depend upon their appearance but upon what they are.” The elements were aluminium, copper, bromine, carbon, iodine, iron and sulphur.



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