Missing image

© Colin Self 2005. All rights reserved, DACS.

FIGURE 1 1971

Colin Self (1941 – )


68.6 X 54 CM
Accession number


After the meticulous drawings of commonplace objects such as sofas and hot dogs, made in the early mid 1960s, Self began to explore the possibilities of making pictures without any direct hand work or physical contact with the paper, eliminating calligraphic gesture. These explorations culminated in the series Prelude to 1000 Temporary Objects of Our Time.

The work comes from this series of nine prints, shown at the 1971 São Paulo Bienal. Self arranged objects such as leaves, sand, spaghetti and a human figure, onto copper plates and sprayed around them with an acid resist. For some of the prints he applied an aquatint ground to hold the ink, for others he simply etched the exposed copper, the results look similar to solarised photographs as the ink only holds near the edge of the image.

Out of Print British Printmaking 1946-1976, The British Council 1994