Joe Tilson
Transparency, the Five Senses: Taste 1969

Artwork details

Joe Tilson born 1928
Transparency, the Five Senses: Taste
Date 1969
Medium Screenprint on Perspex
Dimensions Object: 1470 x 1470 x 50 mm
Acquisition Presented by Marlborough Graphics through the Institute of Contemporary Prints 1970
Not on display

Catalogue entry

Joe Tilson b. 1928
Not inscribed.
Screen-printed and vacuum formed acrylic sheet with perspex, 58×58×1½ (147.5×147.5×4).
Presented by Marlborough Fine Art (London) Ltd 1970.

The artist has written (letter of 3 July 1970):

'The first time I used this particular mouth image was in the screenprint:

Screenprint on paper and acetate film with metallised film. 1967.
28×20 in./71.1×50.8 cm.
Edition 70.
*(Incorrectly titled in Marlborough printed catalogue.)

'It is the beginning of a series of prints, multiples and editions called “Transparencies” which vary from small (12"×12") images of Gagarin, Che Guevara, etc. to the largest which are the five: “5 SENSES” of which you have

Screenprint on vacuum formed acrylic. 58×58×2 in./147.3×5.1 cm.
1969. Edition of 3. (original edition six, three destroyed).

'There were originally editions of six of all five images—but they were all so badly damaged at the pop-art show [at the Hayward Gallery 1969, where they were shown in the open-air] that they all had to be thrown away except a set that had already gone to a museum in Germany. Out of the damaged remains we salvaged two images of the lips, (because they were already promised, one to the Tate and the other to an American collector), and had the outer forms made again—unfortunately the images were cracked in the process of taking them out of the damaged outer forms and so we gave the not perfect result to the Tate and sold the other to the American collector at a reduced price.

‘I used the image again for a poster for my show at the Brusberg Gallery, Hanover and 100 of these had the lettering omitted and were signed and sold. (Clip-o-matic Lips 2 in Kelpra Prints catalogue) (Item 152). And a multiple vacuum formed version 24×24 ins was made in 1969. (Marlborough catalogue “Pages” (Item 27) (which has six of the “transparencies” catalogued). The mouth image I have used for many years both in photographic form (the photographs by Bob Freeman in “Joe Tilson: Recent Works” published by University of Durham 1963) and in “Bocca” and other wood reliefs (“Vox-Box”)—(Wood relief No.20) (Joy-Box), etc.’

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1968-70, London 1970

About this artwork