T03108 LUNCH II (FROM THE MISSING PERSONS SERIES) 1976
Inscribed ‘G van Elk “Missing Persons” 1976’ bottom right
Retouched colour photograph mounted on card on aluminium, 31 1/2 × 39 7/16 (80.1 × 100.1)
Purchased from Nigel Greenwood Inc. (Grant-in-Aid) 1980
Exh: Ger van Elk, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, April–June 1977, Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn, June–July 1977 and Kunstverein Braunschweig, Brunswick, July–August 1977 (36, repr.); Europe in the Seventies: Aspects of Recent Art, Art Institute of Chicago, October–November 1977, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., March–May 1978, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, June–August 1978, Fort Worth Art Museum, September–October 1978 and Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, December 1978–January 1979 (works not numbered); Ger van Elk, Kunsthalle, Basle, October–November 1980, ARC/Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, November 1980–January 1981 and Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, April–May 1981 (32, repr.); Ger van Elk, Serpentine Gallery, January–March 1982 (not in catalogue)
Lit: ‘Ger van Elk antwortet auf Fragen, die Antje von Graevenitz stellte’ and Michael Schwarz, ‘The Missing Persons oder wie lustig ist die Manipulation’ in Ger van Elk (exh. catalogue), Badische Kunstverein, Karlsruhe 1977 etc., pp.24, 31, 34, 38, 52–61
This work is one of a series of four made in 1976 with the collective title ‘The Missing Persons’, and titled individually ‘Lunch I’, ‘Lunch II’ (this work), ‘Conversation Piece’ and ‘The Group’. The others are in European and American private collections. Van Elk made the photographs in a chateau now used as a restaurant near Amsterdam, and the men who took part were members of a local Rotary Club. He made the photographs with all the participants and subsequently removed the one who was the main focus of attention by retouching with an airbrush.
His interest in this theme was inspired by photographs from totalitarian states from which a figure who had fallen out of grace had later been eliminated.
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984