Featured Painting: I am the Abyss and I am Light

When choosing a design for your wall,  you want to know what it’s all about!  You’ll see it every day and visitors to your home will no doubt ask you what it means.  So, we’re choosing one of the designs from the TATE collection in turn to discuss the significance behind the painting.

Firstly, Charles Sims’ masterpiece ‘I am the Abyss and I am Light’ created in 1928.

This painting is one of his mystical paintings, painted in the latter years of his life and a departure from his usual works which were predominantly society portraits.

The group of six semi-abstract paintings with figures was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1928, shortly after Sims’s death by suicide, and was called by his son his ‘spiritual’ series.

The meaning of this work suggests the absolute power of God over all creation and over the destiny of the universe and may be taken from the biblical verse ‘I am Alpha and Omega’ from Revelations 1:8.

Harold Speed, a painter and close friend of Sims described the painting: ‘There upon canvas was his poor tortured spirit laid bare.’

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