John Boyle

Making Bombs

1965
Painted primarily in red and black, colours representative of Nihilist activity, the figures depicted in this composite portrait include, on the verso, Ravachol (French anarchist), Bill Exley (English teacher and friend of the artist), Sergei Sazonov (Russian statesman), Sergey Nechayev (Russian revolutionary), Emma Goldman (American radical; on lapel button), and an anonymous Canadian family. On the recto, the figures are Ron Martin (Canadian artist), an unidentified anarchist prisoner, Pope Paul VI, Grigori Rasputin (Russian holy man also known as the "Mad Monk"), Lead Belly (American folk and blues musician), Pyotr Kropotkin (anarchist), an unidentified Russian peasant, and Greg Curnoe (artist from London, Ontario) who is shown kneeling with three homemade anarchist bombs.
Artist
Title
Making Bombs
Date
1965
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil and enamel paint on plywood, painted on both sides
Dimensions
181.8 x 122 x 1.2 cm; free-standing support: 204.7 x 124.7 x 18.5 cm
Nationality
Canadian
Credit line
Purchased 2000
Accession number
40426