Carroll DunhamPumping Shape 1990

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Artwork details

Carroll Dunham (born 1949)
Pumping Shape
Date 1990
MediumEtching on paper
Dimensionsimage: 350 x 475 mm
Acquisition Presented by the American Fund for the Tate Gallery, courtesy of a private collector 2000
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms


Pumping Shape is a print depicting a hermaphroditic biomorphic form. It is defined with simple black line which covers the page in texture, both inside and outside the form. The Pumping Shape floats in space, extending to the margins of the paper with its limbs and the liquids it empties into its surroundings. Like the form depicted in Dunham’s painting of the same year, Shape with Entrance (see Tate L02310), the subject of this print is composed of two large rounded curves swelling outwards on either side of a vagina-like structure. A small bent limb-like form extends from one side of the body above the rounded bases to press against the margin of the print with a bulge resembling a giant cartoon foot. On the other side a much longer, thicker limb ending in a pointed cone reaches upwards. From this a penis and a single, hairy testicle hang above an extension of the body which seems to be pouring into a pool embedded in a textured layer at the bottom of the paper. Directly above the vagina, a large penis-head tops the body, spurting liquid upwards in elongated drops… (read more)

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