Jonathan Borofsky born 1942
T03914 Untitled at 2,711,922
Pen and ink on paper 253 x 204 (10 x 8)
Inscribed ‘3/11/81 Rotterdam' b.l., ‘2711922' b.r., ‘JB659/D' in another hand on back b.r., ‘(B)' on back b.r., ‘B' on back b.l.
Purchased from Paula Cooper Inc., New York (Grant-in Aid) 1984
Exh: Jonathan Borofsky Zeichnungen 1960-1983, Kunstmuseum, Basel, June-July 1983, Städtisches Kunstmuseum, Bonn, Sept.-Oct. 1983, Kunstverein, Hamburg, Jan.-Feb. 1984, Kunsthalle, Bielefeld, April-May 1984, Kunstverein, Mannheim, May-July 1984, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sept.-Oct.1984 (not in cat.); State of the Art: Ideas and Images in the 1980's, ICA, Jan-March 1987 (no number)
The inscription on this drawing, which has been executed on the page of a notebook, suggested to the artist that it was made in Rotterdam during his one-man exhibition at the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen (February - April 1981). This exhibition consisted of two large installations; five ‘Hammering Men' and ‘Man with a Briefcase' measuring 328 x 88.56 metres, 100 x 27 ft (see Borofsky T03910).
In 1984 the artist discussed T03914 with Sandy Nairne (see entry for T03908):
It says here ‘Rotterdam', which helps us out, otherwise I frankly wouldn't have remembered when I had done it. I remember really being in a frayed state and overworked, having taken on too much responsibility, or too big pieces in Rotterdam, in too short a time; crazy one night, just scratching away here. It does seem to be a head rising up from the nose through the head. Also [has] potential penis implications.
Asked whether the small rectilinear shapes were ‘little jewels' Borofsky replied that they were
little attempts at structure in an otherwise very crazy drawing. It's [an] attempt for a moment for the brain to find a little moment of structure - oh look we'll make a little pyramid here, clean lines, geometry, so small, and practically lost in this whole scribbling ... It expresses the mood I was in, and that's fine. I don't like to be in that mood, so I therefore don't encourage that kind of drawing; but it's very honest for that ... these days I'm trying to make more peaceful endeavours.
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, p.107