Artworks

Uccello

6 c

Uccello – screenprint with etching 107cm x 76cm

5

Chalice – working drawing

P1010873 copy

Chalice – mixed media on wood 30cm x 20cm

(c) Prof. Ian Howard; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Symmetry – detail

“Paulo Uccello’s pioneering and beautiful geometrical analysis of that most holy form, the chalice, is a renaissance exercise in the coding of three dimensional form which prefigures the spherical geometries of Reid, Reimann and Einstein, not to mention the spatial nets which underpin computer graphics.

This is a geometry of the mind which can transmute without warning from the parameters of mathematics to the edges of religious symbolism and back again. Here ………in Uccello above….. it is filled with an uncanny light which glows from within. Legends turn on the talismanic properties of the chalice and the secrets it can bestow. It is the medieval form of the collision between Christian doctrine and magic”.

Professor Murdo MacDonald

EMBLEMATA Published by Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, 1998

ISBN 1 899837 23 X

Artworks

Symmetry

Symmertry

Symmetry
(diptych)
by Ian Howard

Date painted: 1998
Oil on board, 136.4 x 175.6 cm
Collection: Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture
The left panel reproduces Paolo Uccello’s ‘Perspective Study of a Chalice’, c.1450, which is in the collection of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The incorporation of this image highlights Ian Howard’s interest in science and the work of early Renaissance artists. Many of his paintings make references to iconic Renaissance imagery. The title of the Diploma Work ‘Symmetry’ possibly alludes to the perfect symmetry and precision of Uccello’s chalice. There are a number of alchemical images incorporated into the painting. Flanking the perspectival drawing of the chalice are what appear to be two glass jars with various esoteric transfer printed images that have possibly been copied from alchemical textbooks.

The right hand panel reproduces in part Vittore Carpaccio’s painting ‘Saint George and the Dragon’, dated 1504–1507, in the collection of Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, Venice. The image of Carpaccio’s dragon is a recurring motif in many of Ian Howard’s paintings and prints. Ian Howard has also distilled some of the architectural images from the original painting into his Diploma Work. Ian Howard’s work often plays upon oppositions and in this case George and the Dragon represents the opposition of good and evil.

“Symmetry, of the reliquary, the shrine, the altarpiece, is ironized, put into quotes. Objects cease to be stage properties and become emblems. Emblems of what? Above all emblems of emblems. An infinite and unpredictable series of historical and future meanings, hermetic and paranoid, interpretations in which nothing exists by chance”.

Alan Woods

Heretical Diagrams; Ian Howard: a publication of 80 pages and 20 colour plates with essays by Alan Woods, which places the print series in the context of the artist’s other work; Jane Lee, whose comprehensive text unravels the iconography and charts the sources of the imagery in the wider history of ideas; and Arthur Watson, who describes the technical aspects of the work.

Published by Peacock Printmakers, Aberdeen  1996 ISBN 0 952 3608 2 9