Black Environment No. 4

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Robert Cargill
Born Arbroath, 1940-2001

Black Environment No. 4, 1967

PVA and collage on canvas
Purchased 1970 from the Artist
Museum number 13-1969

Cargill was born in Arbroath into one of the sea-town’s oldest families. Whilst working as a compositor with ‘The Arbroath Herald’, he was allowed to use the facilities at Hospitalfield House. In 1963 he enrolled at Duncan of Jordanstone, where he later taught part-time.

Cargill found himself in sympathy with the post-war Italian Arte Povera movement, in which poor quality, cast-off materials were used to question the aesthetics of fine art and the boundaries between painting and sculpture. Thus he would comb the local beaches and incorporate found objects, such as driftwood, in his works using techniques such as collage and frottage, constantly challenging the understanding of what constitutes a ‘painting’. Cargill used a limited palette of often somber colours, preferring a black ground and using broad, gestural forms to create a lively rhythm across the surfaces of his works. These deeply personal abstract images paid homage to the way of life of his forebears and of North Sea fishermen and boat-builders.

Black Environment No. 4
Funding Logos