Signed & dated (on the reverse): Alison Turnbull 1989
Born in Bogota, Columbia in 1956, Alison Turnbull is an important contemporary British artist who resides in London. Her studies began in Madrid in the mid 1970’s followed by a stint at the West Surrey College of Art & Design (1977-1978) and the Bath Academy of Art (1978-1981). Her interest in gardens, their layouts and plant collections began in 2002 at the Botanical Garden in Rome while she lived in that city as a recipient of the British School in Rome award. Since 2002 gardens and architecture have been the focus of her art.
Our painting, a small work on panel, Untitled, 1989, features rectangular and squarish shapes of pale pink and white bordered by blue/black. It relates closely to Alcazabar, 1988 (oil on canvas, 59 x 78 ½ inches) a major work from the artist’s oeuvre from a year earlier. Alcazabar was included in important traveling exhibitions in Britain and the world highlighting works by prominent British artists. Both Alcazabar and our Untitled, 1989 have their genesis in designs for gardens and architecture. Alcazabar’s title refers to a section of the famed Alhambra complex in Grenada, Spain and the pale blocks of colors and the narrow borders at top and bottom of Untitled, 1989 echo garden layouts with two strips of rich black earth on either side. The strong colors in Alcazabar might reflect the strong colors found in Spanish gardens while Untitled seems to use colors associated with the apple, peach and magnolia blossoms of Spring.
Turnbull has at least six works in the British Council’s Collection Permanent Collection. In recent years she executed significant large-scale installations in England. Her work is also found in the collections of the collections of the Arts Council, Government Art Collection, London; Imperial War Museum, London; Southhampton City Art Gallery and corporate collections Clifford Chance and Deutsche Bank both in London. The artist is also a recipient of the coveted and important Jerwood Prize.