Anthony Whishaw RA (b. 1930)
RA Collection: Art
Anthony Whishaw uses a wide variety of materials in his practice in order to resist the two-dimensionality of painting. Presenting a tactile blend of mixed-media collage and acrylic paint, H2II FKE was created in response to Whishaw’s car catching fire. As the artist explains,
‘During a visit to Tesco, as I was paying for my shopping, I noticed everybody suddenly dashing to the windows to see the fire brigade attempt to extinguish a 20 ft high plume of smoke and fire from a car. I was shocked to realise it was my car that had self-ignited in the car park.’
This is one of three paintings in which Whishaw responds to the incident. The heavily textured surface is built up using a wide range of material, from metal fragments to coarse-weave fabric. Whishaw would often add tetrion, a form of plaster mix, to acrylic in order to create a more sculptural effect. Here, he paints over the assortment of materials with a thick impasto. A crumpled banner in the lower right resembles a car numberplate.
Richard Davey, Anthony Whishaw, (Royal Academy Publications, 2016)