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Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Decade

Erró

Fresh from the U.S.A. / Ferskt frá Bandaríkjunum

Year
1958
Height
35 cm
Width
25 cm
Category
Samklipp
Sub-category
Blönduð tækni

Erró made these first collages in Jaffa in 1958, i.e. the collection of cartoon-collages that comprise the Unveil the physicists, empty the research laboratories (or Radioactivity) series, which relates to the campaign against nuclear power launched by the Surrealists in Paris. As in other collages in the series, the painting Fresh from the U.S.A. juxtaposes contrasting phenomena: on the one hand a newspaper cutting in English, and on the other a figure drawn quickly and depicted in a tense posture. Black Chinese ink is sprinkled on the paper, giving a feeling of “radioactive dust”. But what meaning can be deciphered from this “radioactivity” which terrifies the characters in the collage? Taken literally, the advertising slogan “Fresh from the U.S.A.” would conjure a cynical idea of a US nuclear strike. Or metaphorically it reminds us of the “continuous blessing” of living in a consumerist society in constant growth. A critical yet humorous approach characterises this collage, like so many of Erró's works.

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