Hand Railings, Blackpool

Paul Hill

Hand Railings, Blackpool

Vintage Gelatin Silver Print

20.32 x 25.4 cms (7.99 x 9.98 ins)

1972

HC 10524

Provenance

Acquired directly from the photographer

Stamped on the reverse with the photographer's name and address.

Paul Hill's graphic image of steps and metal railings is a characteristically mundane subject that is rendered formally beautiful, abstract and intriguing through the photographer's vision.

One of Hills' most abstract compositions, this picture echoes the work of the great American photographer, Ray Metzker, which he knew and admired from magazine reproductions and from a friend who had studied with Metzker.

The motif also parallels that of the great British painter, Frank Auerbach, who almost coincidentally was painting magnificient large-scale oil paintings depicting this very motif. Auerbach's oils of the steps at Euston underground station, such as Euston Steps (Arts Council Collection) similarly transform an overlooked part of the modern city. By rooting their work in the familiar, yet abstracting from their subject, both Hill and Auerbach make us see this overlooked subject as though for the first time. The dominant straight lines are foregrounded and serve as emblems of modernity and modernism that contrast with the subordinant natural, even organic, forms of the passersby.

Paul Hill

Hand Railings, Blackpool

Vintage Gelatin Silver Print

20.32 x 25.4 cms (7.99 x 9.98 ins)

1972

HC 10524

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