A large circular lamp dominates the centre of Patrick Caulfield’s ‘Dining Recess’ like a hanging moon; a vision, perhaps, of what might be seen beyond the dining room walls. The globe is brilliant and yet it fails to illuminate the grey of the interior, heightening the sense of mystery and unreality.
The word ‘dining’ suggests a social occasion, but ‘Dining Recess’ presents us with an eerily empty scene. ‘The subject matter I normally use is devoid of human presence’, said Caulfield, ‘but it suggests the observation of something that’s either happened or is about to happen, and that gives it a lonely feeling’. For Caulfield the social implications of interior design are also very telling. The moulded ‘tulip’ chairs (designed by Eero Saarinen) are typical of their time, appearing frequently in books on design.