Leon Golub

The Blue Tattoo

1998
The personal and symbolic subject matter in this work is representative of Leon Golub’s later career. The lioness pictured, one of Golub’s four “totem” animals, may allude to a feminine alter ego, or perhaps represent the artist’s wife, the artist Nancy Spero, protesting the indignity of aging. A rebellious streak is suggested by the blue tattoo of a rose, while the yellow stamp declaring the work “collector friendly” is an ironic and provocative affirmation of the political commitment of the artist’s earlier works. The lioness informs us that Golub, who passed away in 2004, will continue to roar.
Artist
Title
The Blue Tattoo
Date
1998
Medium
Painting
Materials
acrylic on linen
Dimensions
223.5 x 339.1 cm unstretched
Nationality
American
Credit line
Purchased 2000
Accession number
40350

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