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Blood Test

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    2016,7017.1

  • Title (object)

    • Blood Test
  • Description

    Outstretched left forearm with a tourniquet around it and visible veins, and a hand with curled fingers (at the top of the image). 1988
    Moulded paper woodcut

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1988
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 1150 millimetres (sheet, approx. irreg.)
    • Width: 455 millimetres (approx, irreg.)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Verso: signed 'E. Avery' and dated 1/9/88 [9 January 1988] in pencil, lower right; numbered 5/6 in pencil, lower left; titled 'Blood test', numbered 5/6 and inscribed with the initials SMD [Susan Mackin Dolan] in pencil, lower centre.
  • Curator's comments

    Eric Avery created this image and cut the block in late 1985 or early 1986, while he was was waiting for the results from his first HIV test. Although he received a negative result, he had been told to expect it to be positive. The first antibody test for HIV was available in 1985. It was a time when the numbers affected by the disease were rising at an alarming rate and there was no treatment. As a doctor working in Texas, Avery has treated many patients with HIV/AIDS and much of his work as a printmaker relates to his experiences in this area.

    The block for this woodcut was made from Texan pecan. The paper was handmade from abaca, cotton and linters and was moulded by the block during the printing process. An area of white in high relief at the bottom of the biceps was caused by a knot in the wood. The block was initially printed in 1986 in an edition of six. Ten more were printed between 1988 and 1990 in preparation for an exhibition of Avery's work at the Blue Star Art Space in San Antonio, Texas in 1990 ('Eric Avery: Cast Paper Woodcuts, 1988-90). The BM impression is from this second printing (the print is erroneously numbered out of 6 on the verso) and was printed on 9 January 1988. It was made with the help of Avery's friend Susan Mackin Dolan, who taught him his paper making skills and whose initials are written in pencil on the verso. Avery wanted to print these additional impressions to show that the number of people affected by HIV/AIDS was growing.

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  • Location

    On display: G30

  • Exhibition history

    2017 9 Mar-18 Jun, London, BM, G30, The American Dream

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    2016

  • Acquisition notes

    Purchased from the artist with funds given by Margaret Conklin and David Sabel. Credit line to read: Presented by Margaret Conklin and David Sabel.

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    2016,7017.1

Outstretched left forearm with a tourniquet around it and visible veins, and a hand with curled fingers (at the top of the image). 1988<br/>Moulded paper woodcut

Outstretched left forearm with a tourniquet around it and visible veins, and a hand with curled fingers (at the top of the image). 1988
Moulded paper woodcut

reproduced by permission of the artist. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Image description

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Object reference number: PPA443503

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