Leon Golub

Prometheus II

1998
For this work from his later career, Leon Golub chose a subject both personal and symbolic. In Greek mythology, Zeus found the Titan Prometheus guilty of the crime of stealing fire, and condemned him to the eternal torment of having his liver torn from his body by an eagle. In Golub's painting, Prometheus is a pathetic ruffian bemoaning his fate in modern-day language that evokes the world of media sensationalism. For Golub, Prometheus is more than simply the archetypal anti-hero. As a kind of agent "provocateur" and rival of the omnipotent Zeus, he is emblematic of the artist himself; the pathos with which he is represented here may be Golub's reference, in old age, to his own diminishing powers.
Artist
Title
Prometheus II
Date
1998
Medium
Painting
Materials
acrylic on linen
Dimensions
302.3 x 246.4 cm unstretched
Nationality
American
Credit line
Purchased 2000
Accession number
40351

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