Colin Self

Bomber No. 1


In Tate Britain
Colin Self born 1941
Etching, graphite and chalk on paper
Support: 396 x 576 mm
Purchased 1983

Catalogue entry

P07747 Bomber No.1 1963

Etching from found metal plates laid together, with pencil, chalk and collage 15 5/8 × 22 5/8 (396 × 576), printed by the artist at the Slade School of Art in an edition of 5
Inscribed ‘Colin Self 1963’ b.r. and ‘(Bomber No.1)’ and ‘1/1’ and ‘Edition of 5 or 6 varying prints No.2’
Purchased from the artist (Grant-in-Aid) 1983

‘This was and is (remains) a terribly important little etching and IS the world's first Multiple Plate etching.’ The insignia, from model-kit transfers, were added to subvert orthodox printing practice and, as they were different in each case, ‘not to blame any one Nation for the fearful state of the political world’. The plates were found on a rubbish dump at University College; Self sawed one in half to make the wings. Using popular art, ‘people's art’, such as transfers or found components ‘waiting to be printed’, was an important part of the concept of this and other works of this date (and later). This print is related to ‘one or two “Rape” diptych drawings where there were women on the right of the drawing and where a nuclear bomber is flying into the picture on the left. There were transfers on the bombers.’

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986

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