Darker Pink Enola Gay Axo-head 1

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Date:1991

Description:

Terry Atkinson (born 1939)

Darker Pink Enola Gay Axo-head 1, 1991

Acrylic on wood board

230mm x 320mm

The Enola Gay series was begun in 1988 and finished in 1992. This series attempts to bring philosophical issues back into focus, dragging monochrome painting into the realm of political art. This image is of the US B29 bomber, Enola Gay, that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. The removal of the corners of the conventional rectangle of the monochrome is an attempt to distort and distends the monochrome. The image of the Enola Gay is so small as to make it hard to figure it out as anything other than a mark on the monochromatic surface.

The pastel colours of the Enola Gay paintings are associated with femininity, safety and the comforting consumer aesthetic of the shopping mall, belying the proximity of weapons of mass destruction.

Over the past 40 years Terry Atkinson has played a significant role in the direction of international contemporary art through his own practice and teaching. He was born in the coal mining village of Thurnscoe in South Yorkshire. He lived there until 1960, when he moved to London to attend the Slade School in October of that year. In 1968 he co-founded the collaborative art group and teaching forum, Art and Language, with David Bainbridgem Michael Baldwin and Harold Hurrell. This was centred on Coventry School of art where Atkinson had started to teach in October 1966. Art and Language expanded the definition of art, basing their art and writing on a continual examination of the concept and role of art and criticism. Art and Language challenged the idea that you could not question visual language used by artists because it was something centred in the artist's soul, therefore private and could not be understood by the public. Terry Atkinson lived and worked in Leamington Spa.

© Terry Atkinson


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Donor ref: LEAMG : A1002.2003 (64/24584)

Source: Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum

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