Malcolm Morley

Train Wreck (Gold Version)

1975–81

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Malcolm Morley 1931–2018
Medium
Etching on paper
Dimensions
Image: 829 x 1121 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1981
Reference
P07602

Display caption

This is one of two prints Morley made from a painting also called Train Wreck. The composition explores the theme of catastrophe, and was derived from a sculpture of a derailed toy train. Morley added a grid, depictions of a playing card fragment, a flower and inscriptions in English, Chinese, Japanese and Russian which read, 'catastrophe' and 'train wreck'. Morley explained, 'for the first time, I'm actually painting space as something seen before I hit a surface.'

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

P07602 TRAIN WRECK (GOLD VERSION) 1975–81

Inscribed ‘Malcolm Morley’ bottom right and ‘1/9’
Etching, printed at Styria Studio, New York, published by D'Arc Press, New York, 32 5/8×44 1/4 (83×112)
Purchased from Xavier Fourcade (Grant-in-Aid) 1981

Morley made a painting of this subject and two prints, the other being ‘Train Wreck (Red Version)’ from the same copper plate. The etchings are hardground and aquatint. The image is from a model of a train wreck with lettering in English, Japanese, Chinese and Russian, all overlaid with a grid. Morley had previously used a grid for squaring up but here uses it as an integral part of the image. The plates were begun in 1975 but not editioned until 1981.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984

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