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ID number:  BIRRC-A0650b
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Campus Collection of Fine and Decorative Art
Artist / Maker:  Prentice, David (1936-2014)
Title / Object name:  Pleiades (2)
Object type:  Painting
Place made:  Birmingham
Culture:  British
Date made:  1970
Materials:  Oil on mirrored glass
Measurements:  89 x 445 cm
BIRRC-A0650b(1).jpg

Part of the series 'Field Grid:Pleiades' - a set of five reflective grid paintings, with black and white geometric shapes painted on mirrored surface. Commissioned and designed especially for the Metals and Metallurgy Building at the University of Birmingham when it was newly built. He stated that he hoped the work would give an identity to the department as well as developing the enviromnmental characteristics of the new building by Ove Arup, who he had previous connections with. He first developed his ideas of using 'systems' and 'grids' in conjunction with Roger Westwood (A0649a-b) when they were collegues teaching at the Experimental Workshop at the former Bimringham Polytechnic.

Notes:  **NB. 5 entries in Mimsy for the Pleides but the information in the brown folder says that it has 4 parts – two of the parts may be considered a pair**

Guardian Obituary: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/jun/02/painting
The painter David Prentice, who has died aged 77, had an unusual trajectory as an artist. In the 1960s, when he was one of the founders of the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, his work was hard-edged, abstract, close to the Op art of a period when young artists and architects were full of ideas for new beginnings. David's art was about new forms, his hero Piet Mondrian.

In the late 1980s, when he returned to full-time painting after a career teaching others, it was to the tradition of English landscape painting. For many years thereafter, his subject was the Malvern Hills, which he knew intimately from countless walks with sketchpad in hand. The forms of the hills were a constant, the weather constantly changing. He painted with the concern for structure and surface that had characterised his earlier work. The watercolours, often done on the spot, were more specific but the paintings done in the studio were as carefully constructed as ever.

It was not long before he was winning prizes (the Sunday Times watercolour competition in 1990, for example) and having exhibitions (more than 20 solo shows since the early 1990s, many with the John Davies Gallery in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire). In time his subjects expanded to include dramatic cityscapes of London, especially of the river, and the landscape of Skye, or rather its approaches – the "Road to the Isles" – as well as the Lake District and the Welsh mountains.

Son of George, a builder and clerk of works at Elmdon airport, and Ruth (nee Hope), Prentice was born in Solihull, West Midlands, and went to Moseley Road art school, Birmingham, from the age of 13. At Birmingham College of Arts and Crafts, he met Dinah Prentice. They married in 1958 when David was doing his national service and Dinah was at the Royal Academy Schools in London.

2 Related Media Items

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