T03688 Triptychos Post Historicus or Artists' Hats Are High Above the Rainbow-Portrait of Barry 1982
Mounted coloured photograph in integral frame bearing brass title plate, overall size 45 × 56 1/2 (1140 × 1435)
Engraved inscription on brass plate b.c. ‘Braco Dimitrijevic/triptychos post historicus/portrait of barry or artists’ hats are high above the rainbow/Tate Gallery 1982/Part One: ‘Henri Matisse’ Andre Derain 1905/Part Two: Barry Flanagan's coat and hat c.1970/Part Three: cucumber and apples'
Purchased from Waddington Galleries (Grant-in-Aid) 1983
Exh: Braco Dimitrijevic ‘Culturescapes’ 1976–1984, Gemälde, Skulpturen, Fotografien, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, March 1983–May 1984, Kunsthalle Bern, June–August 1984 (not listed in catalogue, original installation repr. in col. p.61)
Lit: David Brown, Braco Dimitrijevic, Triptychos Post Historicus, exhibition leaflet, Tate Gallery, September 1985 (n.p.)
When shown in the Tate in its original form, this work was subtitled:
Part One: ‘Henri Matisse’, André Derain, 1905
Part Two: Barry Flanagan's Coat and Hat, c.1970
Part Three: Apples and Cucumbers
The portrait of Matisse by Derain, described by Ronald Alley in The Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art, other than works by British Artists, 1981, p.167, was executed at Collioure in the summer of 1905 at the same time as a portrait of Derain by Matisse also in the Tate's collection (N06241). When the work by Dimitrijevic is installed, a coat belonging to the sculptor, Barry Flanagan, is draped over one side of the portrait which is surmounted by an arc of (alternating) apples and cucumbers. Flanagan's hat is hung on the wall above the arc. Hitherto both coat and hat have been lent to the Gallery by Flanagan when the work has been installed.
Dimitrijevic has commented (note to David Brown, op.cit., see entry for T03687):
I met Barry [Flanagan] in 1970. It was not only that I liked his work, but also his personality. He was the one who suggested and helped me to get to St Martin's. This piece is not only about friendship (like Matisse-Derain) but also about [the] reality of the poet. All his thoughts are under his hat which is high above the rainbow. [The] rainbow in my piece is made of curved vegetables i.e. cucumbers, apples; and apples with cucumbers cover the spectrum of rainbow colours.
Other works involving hats and coats are illustrated in Braco Dimitrijevic ‘Culturescapes’, op.cit., pp.39 and 57.
The artist told the compiler that the gallery has the right to re-make the three-dimensional versions of T03687 and T03688 without seeking his permission on each occasion. Although he generally makes the photographic versions of his ‘Tripychos’ in editions of three, T03687 and T03688 are unique works.
In 1985 the artist presented a further ‘Tripychos’ to the Tate, but in its original three-dimensional form only. This is ‘Triptychos Post Historicus: Repeated Secret’ 1978–83 (t 04122, repr. in col. in the Tate Gallery Trustees' Biennial Report 1984–6).
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986