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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Bob and Roberta Smith born 1963
Medium
Screenprint on paper
Dimensions
Image: 760 x 600 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games 2012
Reference
P13278

Summary

This work is part of a portfolio of twelve prints by British artists that was commissioned by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to commemorate the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The contributing artists were Fiona Banner, Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Creed, Tracey Emin, Anthea Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Gary Hume, Sarah Morris, Chris Ofili, Bridget Riley, Bob and Roberta Smith and Rachel Whiteread. Creed, Hamilton, Hodgkin, Ofili, Riley and Whiteread were invited to create images for the Olympic Games while Banner, Craig-Martin, Emin, Hume, Morris and Smith created images for the Paralympic Games. The portfolio was produced in an edition of 150.

Bob and Roberta Smith’s work uses the immediacy of language to create hand-painted signs on pieces of found wood. These signs – painted in the style of community action placards, street signs, and fun fair posters – relay direct and often humorous messages. In the print Love, the words ‘courage’, ‘inspiration’, ‘sweat’, ‘love’ are arranged in capital letters one above the other against a background of coloured stars, above the words ‘The Paralympic Games 2012’. Taking the values of the Paralympic Games as a starting point, the image distills the core elements of the athlete’s experience.

Further reading
Julia Beaumont-Jones, A Century of Prints in Britain, London 2017, pp.33–4, reproduced p.227.

Leyla Fakhr
November 2011

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