Karl Weschke Pillar of Smoke 1964

Artwork details

Artist
Karl Weschke 1925–2005
Title
Pillar of Smoke
Date 1964
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.

August 2004

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