Allen Jones

Take It from the Top


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Allen Jones born 1937
Lithograph on paper
Image: 727 x 940 mm
Purchased 1982

Catalogue entry

P07759 Take it from the Top 1982

Lithograph 28 5/8 × 37 (727 × 940) on Velin Arches, printed at Solo Press, New York and published by Waddington Graphics
Inscribed ‘Allen Jones 82’ b.r. and ‘25/50’; impressed with the printer's and publisher's stamps
Purchased from Waddington Graphics (Grant-in-Aid) 1982

The following entry is based upon written answers by the artist to questions posed by the compiler in a letter of 18 April 1986 and has been approved by the artist.

P07759 is printed in black and depicts a conductor conducting in an orchestra pit who is observed by a female spectator seated in the front row of the stalls.

The conductor is a personification of ‘the artist’ or ‘the creator’. He is concentrating on the performance or the art and is interposed between the spectator and the work itself. According to Jones in p 07759 ‘the theatre is an analogy for the acts of painting’ in that the artist is a mediator whose presence is ‘felt rather than seen’.

P07759 is one of a number of prints and paintings which Jones has made concerning the stage and is based upon a painting entitled ‘Rhapsody’ 1982 (private collection, Manchester, repr. Allen Jones Stages. Lithographs 1981–82, exhibition catalogue, Waddington Galleries, 1982, month not known). Above the reproduction of this work the words ‘reaction’, ‘control’ and ‘action’ are printed which, according to the artist, ‘define the significance of those divisions within the composition corresponding to the viewer, the artist (conductor) and the performance (picture/stage)’. These concepts are also embraced by P07759.

Most of Jones's prints are in colour but he has explained that when finishing a period of intense production at a printer's it is difficult to ‘wind down’, so that whilst awaiting the last colour proofing he usually makes an image in black and white.

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

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