Allen Jones b.1937
T01059 MAN WOMAN 1963
Inscribed ‘MAN WOMAN 1963 Allen Jones’ on turnover of canvas.
Canvas, 84 1/2×74 1/4 (215×188·5).
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1968.
Coll: Purchased by the C.A.S. from the artist through Arthur Tooth & Sons 1964.
Exh: Arthur Tooth & Sons, January–February 1964 (11); Recent Purchases by the Contemporary Art Society, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, March 1966 (22); Marzotto Prize tour: Valdagno, Staetliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Louisiana Museum Copenhagen, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Tate Gallery London, Musée Galliera Paris, September 1966–August 1967 (64, repr. in colour).
The artist wrote (September 1969) that ‘Man Woman’ was 'an early example of a favourite theme - the intermingling of the sexes. Others are
“dame with the head and legs”
- lithographs, etc.
'In fact none of these figures were ever truly hermaphrodites, although the idea of the completely independant sex did lend itself to the true meaning of this series of work.
‘This was meant to be a visual parallel to Nietzche's concept of Creativity as spoken by Zarathustra, the idea that creativity consisted of a perfect marriage between the masculine and feminine aspects within us, masculine (action) feminine (creation). Thus I was not so bold as to imply that I had found this “marriage” in my Litho suite; conscious of my inexperience or lack of maturity, I titled the folio very precisely - “Concerning Marriage” rather than “Marriage” or “Perfect Marriage”. This was really a gesture of humility before Nietzche's profundity.’
Because of a fault in the medium used, part of the picture had to be repainted in 1969.
The Tate Gallery: Acquisitions 1968-9, London 1969