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John Carter RA, Four Diagonals

Four Diagonals, 1996

John Carter RA (b. 1942)

RA Collection: Art

Like most of Carter’s work, Four Diagonals is a ‘wall object’—a shallow sculpture based on abstract mathematical formulae. The artist has described his work as ‘an extension of painting into three dimensions’ made using materials and processes which give it a physical and tactile character closer to sculpture than to painting.

The artist begins from notebook sketches, moving on to larger, measured drawings (examples of which are also in the RA collection) before proceeding with a three-dimensional construction. He has acknowledged that ‘drawing is always in some ways unsatisfactory for my purposes, it cannot approximate to the three-dimensional reality of my constructions’. While Carter’s drawings (exhibited in the Tennant Gallery at the RA in 2013) may demonstrate the same colours and proportions of Carter’s wall objects, they lack the physical presence and responsiveness to their environment which define his work as sculpture.

Object details

Four Diagonals
John Carter RA (b. 1942)
Object type
Acrylic with marble powder on plywood

1300 mm x 1300 mm x 120 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Diploma Work given by John Carter RA accepted 2 December 2008
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