The James Gleeson oral history collection
James Gleeson interviews Australia's major artists
Soft grid II c.1973
Painting, synthetic polymer paint on canvas
67.25 h x 94.75 w inches
4 September 1979
James Gleeson: No. Good. Now we come to a whole group of later works of yours. This, I think, Soft grid II 1972–73. Now, acrylic on cotton duck, 170.7 x 240.7 centimetres. Guy, one question, ‘72–72, did you re-work it?
Guy Warren: No, I would have worked it over the Christmas period.
James Gleeson: I see.
Guy Warren: That’s all that that means, I think. I’m surprised that it’s March ‘72–73. That’s rather odd. I suppose I could have re-worked it, but it’s unlikely. They’re so direct that normally they’re done in one go.
James Gleeson: Your describing the techniques seems to indicate that it was all done in one go.
Guy Warren: Yes, it is. It’s a very direct medium. Terrifyingly direct.
James Gleeson: So that’s why I wondered about the date.
Guy Warren: I find that odd too, frankly, yes. Look, I really don’t know.
James Gleeson: Signed Guy Warren ‘72–73 upper right in pen.
Guy Warren: Here it is here.
James Gleeson: What have you got it listed there as?
Guy Warren: I’ve got sent to the Llewellyn Gallery, that’s in Adelaide, in August ’73. Returned in studio in February ’74. Sent to Canberra for consideration by the National Gallery in June ’76.
James Gleeson: Yes.
Guy Warren: Oh, and the National Gallery lent it for my survey show in Canberra. It’s probably reproduced in this book here.
James Gleeson: Yes, is that it? No.
Guy Warren: I’m not sure if that’s it or not. But it’s one of those.
James Gleeson: Yes, yes.
Guy Warren: I can’t answer your question. I don’t know why it had two dates on it, ‘72–73. I might have done it over the Christmas period and couldn’t remember whether it was ’72 or ’73. But I should think that’s what it is.
James Gleeson: It doesn’t necessarily indicate that it was worked over.
Guy Warren: It doesn’t necessarily mean that it was worked over a year later. No, no.
James Gleeson: Good.
Guy Warren: By its nature it would almost certainly have been done in one go.
James Gleeson: Yes. Good.Guy Warren: All these paintings, that one and these watercolours that you’re about to look at, were all done when I was working at Sydney University as Director of the Art Workshop there.