Ian Hamilton Finlay

Arcadia [collaboration with George Oliver]

1973

On display at Tate Liverpool

Artist
Ian Hamilton Finlay 1925–2006
Medium
Screenprint on paper
Dimensions
Image: 355 x 437 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1974
Reference
P07025

Display caption

Arcadia is an area of Greece that is traditionally associated with an unspoilt rural paradise. In this print, Finlay draws an ironic parallel between this idea of a natural paradise and the camouflage patterns on a tank. There is also an echo of the Latin phrase ‘Et in Arcadia Ego’ (‘I too was in Arcadia’), used by the seventeenth-century French artist Nicolas Poussin in a painting of a group of shepherds discovering a tomb. Like Poussin, Finlay reminds us that death is present everywhere, even in paradise.

Gallery label, July 2008

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