Anthony Whishaw RA, Interior With Figure

Interior With Figure, 2004-08

Anthony Whishaw RA (b. 1930)

RA Collection: Art

Throughout his career, Whishaw has repeatedly experimented with blurring the boundary between two- and three-dimensional artworks. As Richard Davey observes, ‘Not content with the illusion of breaking down boundaries, Whishaw has sought ways to defy conventional straight edges and flat painted surfaces ever since his first collages, striving to push his paintings into the space beyond their frames. Playing with this border between reality and illusion, Whishaw has made a number of abstract, shaped paintings that break out of the straight edge of the frame to deceive the eye with the appearance of three-dimensional solidity’. (Davy, 133)

This interior scene is part painting, part architectural model. Reflecting Whishaw’s ongoing interest in Cubism, the work plays with perspective to distort how we interpret the space. For several decades, Whishaw has added sand or tetrion (a form of plaster mix) to his acrylic paint to give it greater body. Here he uses a thick impasto to create the impression of an abstracted figure at the composition's centre.

Further Reading:

Richard Davey, Anthony Whishaw, (Royal Academy Publications, 2016)

Object details

Interior With Figure
Object type
Copyright owner
Acrylic and collage on board

340 mm x 670 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Given by Anthony Whishaw RA May 2019
return to start

Start exploring the RA Collection

read more
  • Explore art works, paint-smeared palettes, scribbled letters and more...
  • Artists and architects have run the RA for 250 years.
    Our Collection is a record of them.
Start exploring