Above: Turkish Chintamani 1986
Integral paper marbling on antique paper.
Graham Day was taught by the late Sir Howard Hodgkin at the Bath Academy of Art in the late 1960s, before post-graduate studies at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. He graduated in 1973, and has exhibited widely in Europe and the US. His most recent exhibition was in 2015 at the Studio Six Gallery in London showing the fourth in a sequence of solo retrospective exhibitions, each covering a decade of his work.
During this long career, Day has experimented widely with an eclectic mix of themes and techniques, including painting, drawing, printing and ten years researching and developing the alchemical art of ‘integral’ paper marbling. His work is inspired by different cultures and periods, which often reveal literary starting points. The mathematical harmony of geometry and the symbolic value inherent in shapes have also played an important part in Day’s creative process, as he seeks to explore the mystery of ambiguous objects and to reveal their meditative quality. He is fascinated by the ability of widely different objects to infer the same idea or evoke the same emotion, and in particular the power of simple things to express grand themes.
Most of the work in this exhibition is from Day’s private archive and has not been exhibited before. The majority are works on paper, and include examples of Day’s fascination with the format of board games and Oriental scrolls, to which he applies his own skill as a papermaker to reveal their artistic potential.
Examples of Graham Day’s artwork can be found in national collections, including The British Museum, London, The Victoria & Albert Museum, London, The British Library, London, The Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, and the Artist Book Archive of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, USA. In addition to institutions numerous private collectors, including the late Aga Khan have recognised Graham Day’s unusual combination of intellectual curiosity and technical knowledge, in which the material is always servant to the idea.
Taken from Graham Day in conversation with Sheila Markham Spring 2017
List of Works
1. The Tattwas 1993
Suite of 25 leaves showing the combinations of the famous Hindu symbols of the elements. Paper marbling, gouache and gold on artist hand made paper. Stamped decoration on reverse.
2. Primes & Squares 2016
Based on a snakes and ladders game. The snakes begin and end on black prime numbers and the ladders on red squared numbers.
3. Sri Cakra 1996
A Leporello manuscript sowing the progression of carving the patinated block. Graphite, watercolour and varnish on modern Nepalese paper
4. Kufic Snakes & Ladders 2013
Transcription of c19th wooden Sufi games board.
Gouache, ink and varnish on fibreboard with metal studs.
5. Four Urban Yantras 1994
From a series that attempted to find a set of forms easily recognisable and understood by all cultures. Drop, Moon, Cross, Wave
6. Perspectiva, Corporum Regularium 1992-1993
A marbled transcription of the etched Platonic solids by Jost Amman in Jamnitzer’s 1568 work.
7. Order & Chaos 1989
Both showing the same rectangles in the proportions of archaic English paper sizes. Integral marbling on old French paper.
8. Two Scrolls 2002 Stamps and ink on paper.
From a series that used a rubber stamps printed 1000 times.
9. Moons of Jupiter 1997
16 images of Chinese jade ritual objects each with the name of one of the Moons of Jupiter, followed by a name in Greek beneath.
10. Flowers 1987 Integral paper marbling, antique paper.
11. Turkish Chintamani 1986 Integral paper marbling, antique paper with gold ink.
12. Triple Chintamani 1986 Integral paper marbling, antique paper with gold ink.
13. Hands of Fatimah 1986 a) Green, b) Green and red, c) Alphabet hand.
14. Bands of Marbling 1987 Integral paper marbling, antique paper with gold ink.
15. Oestrogene 1987 Integral paper marbling, antique paper with gold ink.
16. Imaginary Manuscript double page 1987 Integral paper marbling, antique paper with gold ink.
17. Imaginary Manuscript single page 1987 Integral paper marbling, antique paper with gold ink.
18. Tile 2010 Ceramic, Transcription of a15th century Italian tile.
19. Red Crosses 2009 Variations of the same image, watercolour, ink on modern Indian paper.
20. Turkish Flowers 1989 Paper Marbling.
21. Lost Marbling 1989 Integral Paper Marbling.
22. Purple Hearts 1989 Integral Paper Marbling.
23. The Two Kings 1972 Hand coloured screenprint on board with ties.
24. Bingo? 2002 Gouache and Ink on board with ties.
25. Mountains 2012 Gouache and Ink on board with ties.
26. Persian Spiral 2012 Gouache and Ink on board with ties.