Kurt Schwitters
The Proposal 1942

Artwork details

Kurt Schwitters 1887–1948
The Proposal
Die Brautwerbung
Date 1942
Medium Printed papers on paper
Dimensions Support: 319 x 395 mm
Acquisition Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to Tate 2007

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The Proposal takes its title from the nineteenth century lithographic illustration over which Schwitters pasted sections of a magazine advertisement. The high colour of the advertisement is set against the monochrome of the print. A conflict between a brash contemporary society and nineteenth-century restraint seems to be suggested. In other similar works Schwitters makes it clear that the contemporary vision being referred to is modern America. Knowing that Schwitters was an exile in wartime London when he conceived this image of prosperity makes it all the more poignant.

August 2004

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