Colour Wheel, circa 1920
Passe-partout (ref: 2057)
Signed on the reverse in pencil and inscribed James Wood, 18 Upper Park Road, Hampstead PRI 6840
Watercolour over pen and ink, diameter: 11 in. (28 cm.)
Literature: Tate Etc, issue 7, summer 2006, "Every Work of Art is a Child of its Time..."
Throughout his artistic and literary career Jas Wood sought to define beauty. With fellow authors C. K Ogden and I. A. Richards he wrote The Foundation of Aesthetics (1922) and following this Colour Harmony, in which he explored colour as a language in its own right. He had a deep admiration for Kandinsky and at this time owned an important early work by the artist.
This painting was featured in Adrian Glew's article on the influence of Kandinsky on British Art:
"Whilst most of these artists moved on to different ends - Nevinson would launch the Futurist manifesto with Marinette several months later - the most specific, enduring, yet least known influence of Kandinsky on British artists at that time was on James Wood. He had absorbed the lessons on colour theory, particularly those establishing correspondences between colour and musical tones, when studying at Percyval-Hart's art school in Paris in 1909, .... . These views were mirrored in Wood's own paintings, where the colour correspondences serve specific functions and where the image vibrates and resonates beyond the canvas."
A related canvas by Wood is in the collection of the Yale Centre for British Art