Stephen Cox

Chrysalis

1989–91

Artist
Stephen Cox born 1946
Medium
Porphyry
Dimensions
Object: 920 x 2850 x 1000 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1992
Reference
T06662

Not on display

Display caption

This sculpture is made of a rare and valuable stone only found in the Eastern Mountains of Egypt, where the quarries lay untouched between the sixth century A.D. and the twentieth century. Notoriously difficult to work, Imperial Porphry was reserved in Roman times for Imperial sculpture but was rediscovered in Renaissance Italy when stone left by the Romans was carved. The artist describes this work as having to do with transition and reincarnation. It suggests a recumbant Egyptian funerary figure in the process of changing and mutating. The outer surface is polished and suggests a soft skin containing solid or volatile matter.

Gallery label, August 2004