Best known for his “wall objects,” British artist John Carter (born 1942) has made some of the most beautiful and lucid artworks of the last 50 years. The apparent simplicity and directness of his abstract reliefs belie an ambiguity that extends even to their definition, as Carter seeks subtly to reimagine the relationship between sculpture and painting. Carter’s shallow sculptures are based on abstract mathematical formulae; he begins each work with notebook sketches, moving on to larger, measured drawings.
It is these drawings, taken from throughout Carter’s career, that this book presents. Each drawing is a fascinating model of color abstraction, with commentary by the artist. Carter’s drawings reveal the originality of his mind and the love of exactitude and clarity that drives his practice. The eminent art historian Stephen Bann describes his singular contribution to the postwar flowering of British abstraction.