Falmouth acquires its first works by Tacita Dean

  • 25 January 2011

Falmouth Art Gallery has acquired its first set of works by internationally acclaimed artist and Falmouth graduate Tacita Dean. The works will be shown in public for the first time in the UK next month.

A sequence of stones: Riesenbett II (floating), Groβsteingrab (floating) and Hünengrab II (floating) is a new set of mixed media works, purchased with our help.

Tacita Dean is of the most important artists to have emerged from Falmouth School of Art, and still regularly returns to Cornwall from her home in Berlin. In books and interviews she stresses the importance of her time in Cornwall.

A sequence of stones: Riesenbett II (floating), Groβsteingrab (floating) and Hünengrab II (floating) is composed of photographs depicting floating dolmens, or prehistoric stone formations thought to be tombs.

The artist has painted the backgrounds of the photographs, creating a sense of timelessness and monumentality. Dean is influenced by the associations of ancient rock formations such as the rare and historic Cornish Quoits, for example the Trevethy Quoit, and ancient granite stones that are prominent in the rugged Cornish landscape.

Tacita Dean wrote in an email to Falmouth Art Gallery: “I only made three floating dolmen, of which these are the only small studies. I first encountered dolmens and standing stones in Cornwall. For me they are very associated to the pre-history of that landscape.”

Falmouth Art Gallery’s late Director, Brian Stewart (1953-2010), felt Tacita Dean’s work to be of such importance that he worked tirelessly over a number of years to acquire one of her works for Falmouth. He learned that he had achieved his goal two days before his sudden passing in December.

The new work will be exhibited for the first time in the upcoming exhibition Masters of Photography, 12 February to 2 April 2011.