T04901 Wing 1986
Charcoal and pastel on wove paper 692 × 1015 (27 1/4 × 40); watermark ‘T.H. Saunders’
Inscribed ‘Dörflinger’ b.l.
Purchased from Fischer Fine Art (Grant-in-Aid) 1987
‘Wing’ depicts a dark, pod-like figure lying diagonally across the centre of the sheet, flanked by a loosely drawn pattern of lines on the lower right and a lightly shaded area on the upper left. It belongs to a group of drawings based on a wing form (see entries on T04899, T04900 and T04902). Dörflinger made T04901 in his studio on the island of Gozo, near Malta, during the early summer of 1986, in response to Gozitan Mountain, a hill visible from his studio window. In conversation with the compiler on 14 May 1989, Dörflinger said that T04901, like T04899 and to a lesser extent T04902, could be read as a figure in a state of metamorphosis emerging from and being consumed by the mountain. Dörflinger suggested that the figure emerging from the mountain could also be understood as the metamorphosis of a presence ‘slumbering within the mountain’.
In conversation with the compiler on 9 September 1991, the artist said that two drawings and one painting he made after T04901 were related to it. His painting ‘Bird Body’, 1989 (the artist, as ‘Vogel Körper’, no repr. known) had a similar composition to T04901. The two related drawings were ‘The Crown’, 1986 (repr., Johannes Dörflinger, Baum und Vogel, Constance 1989, p.28, as ‘Die Krone’) and ‘Path into the Mountain’, 1988 (repr. Johannes Dörflinger: Pastelle und Zeichnungen, exh. cat., Galerie Döbele, Stuttgart 1989, [p.17] in col., as ‘Weg in den Berg’), which Dörflinger suggested was also related to ‘Wave’ (T04902) in the handling of the figure.
The artist has approved this entry.
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996