The limited edition print, Arrow
, 2000, was created as part of the series Ten Artists, Ten Images
, a portfolio of ten photographs commissioned by Tate Publishing to celebrate the opening of Tate Modern in 2000. Ten contemporary artists working with photography were invited to make an artwork inspired by the Bankside building and its surroundings. The resulting artworks chart different aspects of the site’s development from power station to museum of modern art under the direction of Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron.
Richard Billingham has photographed one of the hidden spaces underneath the Tate Modern building where he found a faint chalk arrow drawn on a section of concrete. The photograph is taken at floor level, creating a disorientating perspective and an almost abstract composition. The image alludes to the building’s industrial past as well as evoking one of the earliest art forms – cave painting. The edition of 50 is signed and numbered by the artist and is unframed.
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Ten Artists, Ten Images portfolio by Tate Publishing
50.8 x 76.2 cm
Chromogenic print on paper
Date of work
This work can be purchased with
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Richard Billingham (born 1970 in Birmingham) works primarily in still photography, but has also made videos. He began by working in black and white, only later moving to colour, and for the most part leaving his photographs untitled. In 1996 a selection of his photographs of his working class family, for which he is best known, were collected in the book Ray’s a Laugh. His video works include Fishtank
1998, a study of his father, commissioned by Artangel for BBC television and shown on BBC2 in December 1998, Liz Smoking
1998, Tony Smoking Backwards
1998, Ray in Bed
1999 and Playstation
In his most recent work Billingham has departed from his familial subject matter, turning instead to the British Midlands town, Cradley Heath, familiar to him from his childhood. In sharp contrast to the family photographs these images are entirely unpopulated, evoking a sense of abandonment, and elaborately, even classically composed. Richard Billingham was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2001.
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