Keith Vaughan : The Wall at Ashton Gifford (V)



Signed in black ink lower right., 'Keith Vaughan'
Gouache, pen and ink and wash on paper

Sheet size 23 cm (9 in) x 21 cm (9 ½ in)
Framed height 42 cm (16 ½ in) x width 41 cm (16 ¼ in)

Inscribed verso in pen with dealer's markings 'The Wall at Ashton Gifford (V) 1942'

EXHIBITION HISTORY :Reid & Lefevre, 1944. Redfern Gallery, 1967

The Wall at Ashton Gifford (VIII) ink and wash 14 x 18 in. (10.2 x 15.2 cm.)
Figures Working in a Garden No. 17, 
ink and wash 4 x 6 in. (10.2 x 15.2 cm.)
The Working Party, 1942. This work was probably also set at 'Ashton Gifford'

In 1942, Vaughan was stationed at Ashton Gifford, an 18th century house, near the Codford army depot in Wiltshire. Works from this time feature soldiers stationed there carrying out various works, tree felling, clearing parkland etc. on the grounds. One of those works is the present "The Wall at Ashton Gifford" and another one is now owned by the Manchester Art Gallery.

The Wall at Ashton Gifford (V), like other works on paper from the early 1940s, is characterised by the use of black or sepia washes on white paper which results in a dramatic chiaroscuro. In Vaughan's words, they are of 'people walking... through the aqueous leaf-green shadow, arms full of dead wood. And the wall running as an indefatigable horizontal, losing and finding itself in the jungle of weed and ivy.'

Vaughan made several studies at Ashton Gifford depicting figures, mainly soldiers toiling and performing a series of tasks, between 1941 and 1944. All of the exhibited works from this period are gouaches and mixed media on paper and were shown at Reid & Lefevre in 1944. Experts tend to agree that Vaughan did not feel entirely comfortable working with oil yet so we find only works on paper from this period. From the end of the war, Vaughan began to produce and exhibit oils, in addition to gouache, a medium he never abandoned, at Reid & Lefevre in 1946. Although Vaughan's painting practice moved towards an increasing use of abstraction, he continued to focus in the depiction of, primarily male, figures in landscapes.

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