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stephen french
cellar doors
acrylic on canvas, metal foil, metal leaf and glass paint
101 x 194 cm
This triptych is based on the deck plate cellar hatch doors on the pavement outside Mennies Bar in Dundee. In phonaesthetics, the English compound noun “cellar door” has been cited as an example of a word or phrase which is beautifully purely in terms of its sound (euphony), without regard for its meaning (semantics). It has been presented as the most beautiful example of all. This premise is featured in the movie Donnie Darko. Some say this observation was first made by JRR Tolkein.
About the artist:

Stephen French is a Dundee and Kilchoan based artist who likes to keep his work eclectic and to stay open to new directions, so subjects and media are always morphing. Yet his technique, palette and composition remain consistent. He enjoys combining traditional painting skills with a subversive take on artists’ clichés but with the overall imperative of visual decoration. Born in Clydebank in 1953, Stephen went to Dundee Art College and graduated BA in Drawing and Painting in 1975 and then in 1976 received the Greenshields Award to study painting in Paris. He went on to have an extremely successful career in design, winning two Design Centre Awards he was a consultant with the design council and became a member of Memphis Milano. Becoming disenchanted with the industry, he returned to painting  full time and has gone on to  exhibit at the Pompidou Centre, Tokyo Museum of Art, the Barbican and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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