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Moon pencil drawing
Moon square painting

Jeremy Moon, 15/73, 1973, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy: © the Estate of Jeremy Moon and A-M-G5, Glasgow; photograph: Patrick Jameson

The rectangle is the big fact of painting: the shape with and within which its propositions tend to be made. On show at Glasgow’s A-M-G5, 15/73 (1973) – the last painting completed by Jeremy Moon before his untimely death – finds the artist nudging at the format. Made up of what look like four pieces of coloured card arranged in a neat pile, it’s a work that treads a playful line between being conventionally ‘rectangular’ and unconventionally shaped.

One of the few British painters of the 1960s to explore irregularly shaped canvases, Moon was equally preoccupied with the rectangle. Taking it as an invitation, he seems to have had a febrile sense of the rectangular frame as a miraculous thing, full of possibility. 15/73 inverts the conventions of rectilinear framing, presenting an emphatic, depth-defying blank surrounded by a discontinuous series of non-borders. Most of the angles are off – the orange ‘L’ noticeably thinner at the top; the green corner on the left not quite 90 degrees – as if the ‘cards’ haven’t quite settled. With a quick reshuffle, this game of pictorial ‘snap’ could continue indefinitely.

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