Rebecca Horn
Pencil Mask 1972

Artwork details

Rebecca Horn born 1944
Pencil Mask
Date 1972
Medium Fabric, pencils and metal
Acquisition Purchased with assistance from Tate Members 2002
Not on display

Display caption

Strapped around the face, this mask transforms the wearer’s head into an instrument for drawing. Horn has described wearing it: ‘All pencils are about two inches long and produce the profile of my face in three dimensions...I move my body rhythmically from left to right in front of a white wall. The pencils make marks on the wall the image of which corresponds to the rhythm of my movements.’ The spike-like pencils make this one of Horn’s more threatening works. However, it is linked to the feather masks, as feather quills were also once used for writing.

September 2004

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