Magda Cordell
No. 12 1960

Artwork details

Magda Cordell 1921– 2008
No. 12
Date 1960
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Unconfirmed: 1524 x 1016 mm
Acquisition Purchased 2013
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1960

Display caption

Cordell’s paintings of women drew much critical attention at a time when American abstract expressionism and action painting was being assessed alongside European tachisme and the art brut of Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985). Here Cordell’s figure appears as both earth mother and embryo shown in a state of change and renewal. Such a metaphor was common in the 1950s where the body was often depicted as fragile and at threat, both bodily and psychologically, yet Cordell was rare in having extended this idiom to encompass the female body.

September 2016

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