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In Storage

Paul Nash (1889-1946)

The Archer

Nash was never entirely comfortable portraying the human figure in his paintings. Surrealism provided him with a solution in the form of the 'object personage': he photographed or collected objects that might stimulate his imagination and provide a cast of characters for his paintings. The first of these was a piece of driftwood he exhibited as Found Object Interpreted at the International Surrealist Exhibition in 1936.

To create The Archer Nash took a child's boat and added a glass tube, a curving piece of metal, a twig and some seaweed. In the painting the Archer aims at the object of his desire but is powerless to do more than cast a shadow in its direction. Nash explained that behind the Archer is the menacing shadow 'of a woman with long flying hair. She is always on his track. Nothing but her shadow is visible but that is quite enough for the Archer and sometime too much'.

Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions 710mm x 915mm
Acquisition Number SOTAG : 1415
Credit Line Purchased in 1942 through the Chipperfield Bequest Fund

Other works by this artist