Robert ARNESON, Fragment of Western civilization Enlarge 1 /2
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United States of America 1930 – 1992

Fragment of Western civilization 1972 Place made: California, United States of America
Materials & Technique: sculptures, terracotta, mortar, wood and wire mesh backing

Primary Insc: incised into each brick "Arneson" (most frequently) or "Robert", "Arnie", "Bobby" or "Bob", date incised u.c. of left side of head section "1972", other bricks incised variously "Ceramist", "Clay", "Brick", "Benicia", 9-4-1930", "Fuck", "Fire", "Earth", "Trick", "Prick", "Art works", "Funk", "Virgo", "Museum", "Chicago", incised on side of one brick "I was born on / September 4 1930 / at 4.28 a.m. in / Benicia California"
Tertiary Insc: inscribed inside back top of largest section in fibre tipped pen: “#3 / Back inside”, inscribed inside right hand side top in fibre tipped pen “'Fragment of W.C.”;; inscribed on horizontal panel inside top in fibre tipped pen “Point L” [TBC]; inscribed on a panel vertical to this in fibre tipped pen an arrow pointing forward; inscribed on top edge of middle section [lower torso] in fibre tipped pen, u.c.: “Fragment of W.C.”; c.r. “C”; l.r. “Place Sec D / on top of / here”; l.l. an arrow pointing to the front. inscribed on base edge pen l.c.”C” and an arrow pointing to the front; inscribed on top edge of top section in fibre tipped pen, vertically u.l.: “Place on top of C”, l.c. “D” and an arrow pointing to the front; inscribed, on one of the smallest sections [side of the head], upside down in fibre tipped pen … ;
Dimensions: installation 104.14 h x 304.8 w x 304.8 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1978
Accession No: NGA 79.1266.A-B
Image rights: © Robert Arneson/VAGA. Licensed by Viscopy
  • Hansen Fuller Gallery, San Francisco;
  • from whom bought by the Australian National Gallery, October 1978