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Creator:
Steven Campbell, 1953–2007, British
Title:

Eagles are Attracted by Disaster

Date:
1983
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Support (PTG): 111 x 108 inches (281.9 x 274.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Bequest of William S. Lieberman, transfer from the Harvard Art Museums
Copyright Status:
© Estate of the Artist
Accession Number:
B2010.15
Classification:
Paintings
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
abstract art | airplane | birds | blood | eagles (birds) | genre subject | man | moon | net | rabbits | shovel | tie (concrete fastener) | water
Access:
Not on view
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:62377
Export:
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Steven Campbell was one of the "New Glasgow Boys" who rose to international fame in the early 1980s. His theatrically staged paintings depict a shifting cast of characters navigating absurd and perplexing situations. The tweed-clad man with hunting paraphernalia depicted here frequently appeared in his work from the early 1980s, when Campbell was living in New York City. The archetypal British gentleman is endowed with all the eccentricity and ridiculousness of a character from a P. G. Wodehouse novel, making a mockery of an outdated, gentrified society to which Campbell, as an ex-steelworker from Glasgow, had no part. The work evokes the feeling of chaos Britain experienced as Margaret Thatcher entered her second term as prime minister and unemployment soared to record levels. The artist’s interest in the breakdown of meaning is displayed in the painting’s incongruous narrative, which deploys ambiguous symbolism to convey the gap between signs and their meanings.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2020

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