Karl Weschke

Pillar of Smoke

1964

Artist
Karl Weschke 1925–2005
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Unconfirmed: 1727 x 1295 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the artist 1994
Reference
T06894

Not on display

Display caption

Weschke arrived in Britain as a German prisoner of war and for the last forty years has lived in Cornwall. This painting, based on the burning of the gorse on the moorland above the town of Zennor, shows smoke rising in a threatening, anthropomorphic mass. Painted at the height of the Vietnam war it evokes the barbarism suffered by successive generations. Weschke has drawn on his own memories of the Second World War, when the landscape would smoke for days after battle, while his image also suggests the bombing of Dresden and the burning of bodies in the death camps.

Gallery label, August 2004

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