Johannes Dörflinger Wave 1985

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
Wave
Date 1985
Medium Pastel and graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 685 x 1014 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1987
Reference
T04902
Not on display

Catalogue entry

T04902 Wave 1985

Charcoal and pastel on paper 685 × 1014 (27 × 40); watermark ‘T.H. Saunders’
Inscribed ‘Dörflinger’ bottom centre
Purchased from Fischer Fine Art (Grant-in-Aid) 1987

‘Wave’ depicts a grey shaded area extending diagonally from the upper left to the lower right of the sheet. Along its bottom edge, drawn with scumbled charcoal lines, is a form that can be read as a recumbent figure with its head on the left-hand side. Above the central shaded area is a loosely drawn zig-zag line, delimited by a curved upper contour.

Dörflinger made ‘Wave’ in his studio on the island of Gozo, near Malta, in the summer of 1985 in response to Gozitan mountain, a hill that he can see from his studio window and which was the inspiration for many works of the 1980s. In conversation with the compiler on 14 May 1989, Dörfinger said T04902 belonged to a group of twenty-five pastels and drawings depicting a figure emerging from a mountain cleft that he can see from his studio (see entries on T04899-T04901). The composition of this group of drawings is based on a wing form, which is one of a small number of archetypal motifs, such as birds and trees, that recurred in Dörflinger's works of the mid-1980s. The title was given after the drawing was completed and was intended by the artist to refer to be allusive, not a literal description of the subject.

The artist has approved this entry.

Published in:
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996

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