E.L.T. Mesens The Staff 1962

Artwork details

Artist
E.L.T. Mesens 1903–1971
Title
The Staff
L'Etat-Major
Date 1962
Medium Card, paper and watercolour on board
Dimensions Unconfirmed: 216 x 276 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1970
Reference
T01260
Not on display

Display caption

A composer, poet, writer and generator of Surrealist activity in Belgium, ELT Mesens first arrived in London in 1936 when he helped to install the International Surrealist Exhibition. He stayed to run the London Gallery and produce the ‘London Bulletin’ as well as manifestos that defined British Surrealist activity. It was not until the 1960s that he returned to an early enthusiasm for producing collages. The Staff uses cigarette cards of English footballers, though their celebrity is undercut by the blanking-out of their eyes. The title has military connotations (as in the ‘general staff’).

July 2011

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