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Untitled 1986

© the artist. Photo credit: Manchester Art Gallery

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This work represents a close-up portrait of the tenth to fifteenth-century Ife sculpture of a priest-king, peppered with smaller images taken from photographs by Tim Page, showing American helicopters in Vietnam. The giant head displays the characteristic ribbed texture of this form of traditional African sculpture, executed in vibrant red, orange and yellow tones. The sculptural relic seems to glance beyond the air-borne activity in the foreground, gazing somewhat passively towards the viewer. The square canvas contains black shadow marks which work to frame the face. The nose and lips have a three-dimensional, sculptural quality as they cast a shadow onto the rest of the painting, accentuating their fullness of form. The painted lines are thick with some areas heavily textured with paint.

Manchester Art Gallery



Untitled 1986




emulsion on canvas


H 218.4 x W 213.4 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1986

Work type



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Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester M2 3JL England

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