Mark Tansey, Forward Retreat, 1986

Tansey is known for his monochromatic paintings that are an eclectic mix of images drawn from the stores of his memory and mashed together in new narratives about Art History. Here we see reflected in the water American, French, German, and British military men riding horses backwards. We can only begin to see the pile of art objects that the horses are trampling, but there are clearly ancient vases, an African mask, sculptures, and an apple core inside a frame – surely a reference to Magritte. The allegory here is that by obsessively looking to the past we succeed in destroying it, and, we also fail to see where Art is going.

Leave a Reply