Mimmo Paladino Wet Dream 1984

Artwork details

Artist
Mimmo Paladino born 1948
Title
Wet Dream
Sogno umido
Date 1984
Medium Linocut on paper
Dimensions Image: 801 x 1216 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1984
Reference
P77084
Not on display

Catalogue entry

Mimmo Paladino born 1948

P77084 Wet Dream 1984

Linocut 801 x 1216 (31 1/2 x 47 7/8) on Fabriano Rosaspina paper 971 x 1355 (38 1/4 x 53 3/8); printed by Giorgio Upiglio at Grafica Uno, Milan and published by Waddington Graphics in an edition of 65
Inscribed ‘Mimmo Paladino 1984' b.r. and ‘2/65' b.l.
Purchased from Waddington Graphics (Grant-in-Aid) 1984
Lit: Richard E. Caves, ‘Mimmo Paladino: Recent Prints in Context' in Mimmo Paladino: Etchings, Woodcuts and Linocuts 1983-86, exh. cat., Waddington Graphics, 1986, p.4.

P77084 is one of four linocuts related to James Joyce's novel Ulysses. The titles of the three remaining prints are ‘Dedalus', ‘Introibo ad altare dei' and ‘"Ellpodbomool"' and the series is reproduced in the Waddington Graphics Catalogue 1986, pp.16-17.

According to Richard E. Caves the four images dramatise ‘the visions of his deceased mother that haunt the sorrowing Dedalus' (Waddington Graphics 1986, p.4). The artist writes (letter to the compiler 20 May 1988) that ‘Ulysses has informed my work through a reading of fragments, looking back, from memory, unreachable, perhaps as Joyce himself imagined'.

The three figures depicted in P77084 are not intended to have specific identities nor is the image intended as an illustration to any particular point in Joyce's narrative.

In ‘Sogno Umido' (Wet Dream), the recumbent figure, the man with a hat who is blocking his ears, the primitive apparition-presence, they make one think of imaginary situations ... which spring up in the moment which precedes sleep, or perhaps death: a situation not of unconscious dream, but of sleep, both indecipherable, apparently meaningless and at the same time lucid and real (Letter to the compiler 20 May 1988).


In P77084 the three figures and the background drawing of roofs and windows are delineated predominantly in printed yellow and the white of the paper, although the left hand side of the foreground figure's body is picked out in red. The background is blocked off into three main areas which are coloured separately in black, behind the two central figures, red behind the architectural landscape and blue behind the ‘primitive' figure to the left.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, p.441


About this artwork