'Still life: Autumn fashion', Patrick Caulfield, 1978

Still life painting

Acrylic on canvas, 61 x 76.2cm

Accession Number WAG9590

The bold and colourful work of Patrick Caulfield can be termed 'pop art' because of his use of highly unconventional techniques and the ironic position that he adopts towards high art.

However, Caulfield does not aspire to the same choice of subject matter as American pop artists. Instead of painting advertising products, celebrities and other features of popular culture, he paints interiors, horses, churches and everyday objects.

'Still life: Autumn fashion' depicts an interior, possibly a kitchen, with light coming from an open window. A basket of leeks sits on the table, painted with thick black outlines. By contrast, oysters are shown both in outline and in highly realistic detail.

The thick outlines of the objects make them stand out as if they can be touched. Yet not all of the objects are complete, suggesting that an artist's work is only truly completed once it is viewed.

An extended study of 'Still Life: Autumn fashion' | is also available online as part of our Artwork of the Month series.