More or Less

‘Sitting talking with Cy Twombly in The Lexington Restaurant after filming Edwin Parker, it came up that I was afraid of flying but had to do it anyway to be the artist I was. He said that when he was young, his mother watched him fret over his painting. She said one day: ‘Why do you do it if it makes you so anxious? Why don’t you do something that makes you happy?’ I said, ‘Does painting make you happy now?’ ‘More or less,’ he replied.

Earlier in that same week, I had met Leo Steinberg. On the plane over I read his essay, The Line of Fate in Michelangelo’s Painting. He had found by studying many subsequent versions of The Last Judgement that the copyists appeared to ‘correct’ what they saw as compositional flaws in the original painting and that this guided Steinberg to the real intent of Michelangelo. He found what he describes as a deliberate but notional line running diagonally from the top left apex of the lunettes of Heaven through the cut in Christ’s side, down through the tormented face of the sinner to Minos’s genitals at the bottom right–hand corner of Hell. At its exact centre Michelangelo had painted himself – a self-portrait – his own face appearing on the flayed skin of St Bartholomew. To Leo Steinberg, Michelangelo had chosen to place himself at the centre of Judgement, equidistant from Heaven and Hell – the artist as humanity judged.

As a student in my final year at The Slade, I started to photograph the changes I was making on a single blackboard on the wall in my working space. Eventually I turned the sixteen small dark prints into a work for my final show. Then they got lost. Years later, they were found in a roll in a disbanded studio and I could see how very little I had changed and that it made sense to show them again.

All three of these incidents conspired to make More or Less. I carried the title – still empty – from Lexington and tried again to repeat the process behind Sixteen Blackboards by teasing myself into making a drawing that came from the surface and the depths, and what kept appearing were the diagonal and the line of fate.’ – Tacita Dean

Tacita Dean

More or Less, 2011

(incl. danish VAT – final price is calculated in checkout with/without local VAT)

Print technique
Photogravure on Somerset White Satin 400g
Paper size 198 x 133 cm
Edition
Edition of 8
Printer
Printed by Julie Dam, Mette Ulstrup
Publisher
Published by Niels Borch Jensen Editions
Signed by:
Signed and numbered by the artist
Registration no
ID: TaD 11 001-5
Tacita Dean

More or Less, 2011

(incl. danish VAT – final price is calculated in checkout with/without local VAT)

Print technique
Photogravure on Somerset White Satin 400g
Paper size 198 x 133 cm
Edition
Edition of 8
Printer
Printed by Julie Dam, Mette Ulstrup
Publisher
Published by Niels Borch Jensen Editions
Signed by:
Signed and numbered by the artist
Registration no
ID: TaD 11 001-1
Tacita Dean

More or Less, 2011

(incl. danish VAT – final price is calculated in checkout with/without local VAT)

Print technique
Photogravure on Somerset White Satin 400g
Paper size 198 x 133 cm
Edition
Edition of 8
Printer
Printed by Julie Dam, Mette Ulstrup
Publisher
Published by Niels Borch Jensen Editions
Signed by:
Signed and numbered by the artist
Registration no
ID: TaD 11 001-2
Tacita Dean

More or Less, 2011

(incl. danish VAT – final price is calculated in checkout with/without local VAT)

Print technique
Photogravure on Somerset White Satin 400g
Paper size 198 x 133 cm
Edition
Edition of 8
Printer
Printed by Julie Dam, Mette Ulstrup
Publisher
Published by Niels Borch Jensen Editions
Signed by:
Signed and numbered by the artist
Registration no
ID: TaD 11 001-3
Tacita Dean

More or Less, 2011

(incl. danish VAT – final price is calculated in checkout with/without local VAT)

Print technique
Photogravure on Somerset White Satin 400g
Paper size 198 x 133 cm
Edition
Edition of 8
Printer
Printed by Julie Dam, Mette Ulstrup
Publisher
Published by Niels Borch Jensen Editions
Signed by:
Signed and numbered by the artist
Registration no
ID: TaD 11 001-4
Tacita Dean

More or Less, 2011

(incl. danish VAT – final price is calculated in checkout with/without local VAT)

Print technique
Photogravure on Somerset White Satin 400g
Paper size 198 x 133 cm
Edition
Edition of 8
Printer
Printed by Julie Dam, Mette Ulstrup
Publisher
Published by Niels Borch Jensen Editions
Signed by:
Signed and numbered by the artist
Registration no
ID: TaD 11 001-5

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