Barry Flanagan 1941–2009
Framed mirror, cello, bow and sofa with tassel
1575 x 1346 x 952 mm
Presented by Alistair McAlpine 1972
Purchased by Alistair McAlpine from the Rowan Gallery, London in 1972.
1972 Rowan Gallery, November–December 1972.
1974 Exhibition catalogue, Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool 1974.
The invitation card to the Rowan Gallery exhibition in 1972 carried a photograph by J.S. Lewinski of the artist seated beside Sixties’ Dish.
The painted frame of the mirror is inscribed, along the left side as displayed: ‘JOHN THIS MIRROR TO STAY HERE NOT FOR [blank] P.M.’ The missing word(s) had flaked off before the work was acquired by Tate. In 1974 the artist wrote: ‘the mirror was acquired with my wife’s house in Camden 4 years ago. (The inscription is only significant as a claim of ownership to prevent the demolition team removing it when they began work). The cello was bought over 3 years ago (it is made in China) from Boosey and Hawkes. The [...] settee was given to my wife and me 10 years ago by my aunt Hannah Flanagan [...] The title “’60s dish” refers to the decade of the 60s (of London).’
The constituent elements of the work are not attached to one another, but have to be put together afresh according to the artist’s standing instructions each time the work is displayed.
In 1972, Flanagan made an etching, inscribed ‘60s Dish’ and ‘post script’, which represents this sculpture without the cello and bow.
The Tate Gallery 1972–4: Biennial Report and illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1975, pp.133–4.