T03475 O.A.S. Assassins 1962
Painted aluminium and ribbon 30 1/8 × 20 × 13 1/8 (765 × 510 × 340)
Inscribed ‘RF’ on both sides of crest, one in reverse
Purchased from Gimpel Fils (Knapping Fund) 1982
Exh: ? British Art Today, San Francisco Museum of Art, November–December 1962 (108, repr., unspecified cast); ? Englische Kunst der Gegenwart, Stadtische Kunstgalerie, Bochum, April–June 1964 (37, unspecified cast); ? Hubert Dalwood, Gimpel Fils, September 1964 (1, repr., unspecified cast); ? British Sculpture in the Sixties, Contemporary Art Society, Tate Gallery, February–April 1965 (30, unspecified cast); ? Society of Scottish Artists, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, September–November 1965 (3, unspecified cast); Hubert Dalwood, 1924–1976, Gimpel Fils and New Art Centre, February 1982 (9, as ‘O.A.S. assassin’)
Lit: Norbert Lynton, ‘Introduction,’ Hubert Dalwood Sculpture and Reliefs, exhibition catalogue, 1979, pp.5–39;
Also repr: William Packer, Out of Sight, Financial Times, 9 February 1982, p.15
‘O.A.S. Assassins’ is ‘opus 65’ in the artist's own catalogue. The first cast is in the collection of the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull (exhibited at Hubert Dalwood, Gimpel Fils, September 1964 (1)), and the Tate Gallery's is the second cast of a projected edition of six. The correct title has ‘Assassins’ in the plural, as in the artist's record books and at Gimpel Fils in 1964, although this has been put in the singular in some later exhibitions. The cast at Hull was included in the artist's retrospective exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in 1979 (27, as ‘O.A.S. Assassin’).
The title refers to the Organisation de l'Armée Secrète, a right-wing group in France opposed to de Gaulle's policy in Algeria. Dalwood visited Paris in January 1962, coincidently at a time when this group seemed about to cause a civil war: the ‘RF’ on the crest stands for République Française. Political subjects are extremely rare in Dalwood's work, except for a few sculptures of 1962–3. Norbert Lynton, in his introduction to the catalogue of the Hayward Gallery retrospective exhibition, discusses this sculpture and points out that Dalwood's attitude is ambiguous, although in other works the gay appearance - colours, ribbons - is ironic.
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986