- Museum number
- Object: Violins/Violence
Three violins laid out in a row (the left one only partially visible) above the word ‘VIOLENCE’ written in scratchy capital letters between two ruled lines. 1985
Drypoint on Fabriano Rosaspina wove paper
- Production date
Height: 711 millimetres (sheet)
Width: 994 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- 'Violins/Violence' relates to an earlier neon work, VIOLINS VIOLENCE SILENCE, 1981-2, neon-tubing with clear glass tubing suspension frame (in the Tate collection on long term loan from Anthony d’Offay, AL00223). In the print, both the image of the violins and the letters of the word 'VIOLENCE' are informally rendered and have a scratchy quality that brings to mind the physical motion of a bow being drawn across the strings of a violin, and accentuates the fragility of the instruments. This effect is achieved largely through the use of drypoint, which can create a more ragged line than other intaglio methods. Elements of the process involved in creating a drypoint – scoring, scratching, applying pressure – connect both to the subject of violins and, to some extent, the subject of violence. Like much of Nauman’s work, 'Violins/Violence' relies on wordplay and sound. In this case the near-homonym flicks between 'violins' and 'violence' not unlike one of the artist’s neon pieces. It requires the viewer to speak and hear the words, either out loud or in the mind, to make the connection between word and image. 'Violins/Violence' was printed in black from one copper plate by Ken Farley at Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles and published by Gemini in an edition of 23.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased from Joni Weyl at Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles in the early 1990s by Jonathan Bloomberg, San Diego; then to Susan Sheehan Gallery for sale at Art Basel, June 2018.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number