Afternoon in the Old House, 1974
Lady in a Green Skirt, 1972
Girl Under an Open Window, 1977
These three paintings represent Subbi’s work with models during the 1970s. The models are always in a symbolic interior. These indoor spaces are populated with objects that begin to build a distinct vocabulary that is recognisable for the rest of Subbi’s career: a table with a cloth hanging loosely off the edge, a vase with flowers, a brown leather armchair; these are objects that enter the painting from Subbi’s studio. One model looks directly out of the painting at the viewer, while the others look towards the outside. In either direction, they look away towards an escape, one lowers them into the parallel world of Subbi’s leisurely and endless summers, the other towards our reality distinct from the worlds inhabited by his painted subjects. The three women who look away do so directly past a barrier – a wooden pole, a lamp, an arch – and into an open, borderless, natural world.