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Buffalo, New York, United States of America born 1964

Eagle 2004 Place made: Missoula, Montana, United States of America
Materials & Technique: ceramics, centrepieces, glazed porcelain porcelain: sgraffito decoration

Dimensions: 51.0 h x 56.0 w x 28.0 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2005
Accession No: NGA 2005.1190
Image rights: Photographer Chris Autio
  • David Regan has used the familiar form of the tureen for a series of works that are parables of the fecundity and violence of nature, and our harnessing of it. As a table centrepiece, the traditional ceramic tureen often took the shape of the animal whose meat it contained, combined with imagery of other produce in a display of abundance and prosperity to be shared. However, such comforting imagery is shattered in Regan’s confrontational Eaglecentrepiece, where a double-headed version of the symbol of American power presides over sickening scenes of aggression and violence of the type that now routinely accompanies the modern meal, eaten in front of live television broadcasts. Using a sgraffito technique to depict this imagery, Regan cuts through his black surfaces to reveal the white porcelain beneath, in the manner of bucolic woodcut prints. Their resulting monochromatic graininess, however, links us to the subject in the more intrusive and covert manner of military night-vision imaging technology.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra