Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Art Becomes a Construction
'601-3 (No.1)' by David Saunders
Although conscripted into military service after leaving school, David Saunders was not on active service. This allowed him to continue his practice of art, being inspired by the Salisbury plain, where he was stationed. Saunders later went on to study painting at Saint Martin's School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools in London.
He went on to teach at Newport College of Art, where he met painter, Jeffrey Steele. With a shared interest in Constructivism, they decided to found The Systems Group. This was an art collective that practiced Constructivist art, but without the political agendas that were originally attached to the movement.
Having originated in Russia, Constructivism is the rejection of autonomous art; rather, it focusses on the logic, practicality, and collaboration to create something - such as an architectural building - for social purposes.
At the Mummery Schnelle Gallery, there is currently an exhibition of David Saunder's work. It covers the forty-year period between 1974 to present day, and explores the Constructivist style he adopted, as well as how it has evolved.
Open until the 28th June, you can travel through the decades to see how David Saunder's has stuck to his Constructivist roots, but over time kind of relaxed in his quest for absolute precision. For example, his three-part painting, Black Transformation (1973/74) is more a mathematical equation than a piece of art. The black and white lines are based on prime numbers, and ratios. Move on to 2013, and he has abandoned straight lines for curves and symmetry for uneven patterns. Personally I prefer his later work because it feels more human and imaginative.