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Print - Archipelago II

Archipelago II

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    USA (made)

  • Date:

    1998 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Tsvetkov, Sergei, born 1958 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Open-bite etching on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased through the Julie and Robert Breckman Print Fund

  • Museum number:

    E.3583-2004

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MM, shelf 1

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Archipelago II is one of a series of images made by Sergei Tsvetkov using irregularly shaped geometric plates, reconfigured from image to image. The series was made using the technique of open-bite or deep-bite etching. Here the technique gives the appearance of an antique map, with eroded and rugged coastlines suggested rather than clearly defined.

Given that the artist is an émigré from the former Soviet Union, the title of this print calls to mind Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s novel The Gulag Archipelago (1973) about the vast system of penal labour camps scattered like invisible islands throughout Russia.

Anne Appelbaum, an American journalist who travelled to the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s, was struck by the absence of memory about these camps. Tsvetkov’s work may both commemorate this reign of terror and acknowledge its loss from the collective memory. Like many artists from the former Soviet Union, Tsvetkov seems to have developed a way of making images that carry disturbing undertones but can also be read as something more innocent.

Physical description

Image from two separate, irregular geometric plates which look as if they have 'tectonically shifted' away from each other down a central fault line. Near the centre of image a small red rectangular shape and on left margin, same shape inverted, printed in black. The overall image is abstract but resembles the patterns one might expect from rusty or unevently bitten or corroded sheets of metal but they also have something of the appearance of old maps. The ground of each plate is printed in a cream colour, shading to brown. with the lines of the etching black.

Place of Origin

USA (made)

Date

1998 (made)

Artist/maker

Tsvetkov, Sergei, born 1958 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Open-bite etching on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Sergei Tsvetkov [not clearly legible]'98. / Archipelago II'

Dimensions

Height: 88.3 cm printed surface, Width: 53 cm printed surface, Height: 117.3 cm sheet, Width: 81.1 cm sheet

Descriptive line

'Archipelago II', open bite etching from two irregular shaped plates, by Sergei Tsvetkov; United States, 1998

Exhibition History

Mapping the Imagination (Victoria & Albert Museum 03/10/2007-24/04/2008)

Labels and date

Archipelago II is one of a series of images made by Sergei Tsvetkov using irregularly shaped geometric plates reconfigured from image to image. The technique of open-bite or deep-bite etching here gives the appearance of an antique map with eroded and rugged coastlines suggested rather than clearly defined. [2007]

Materials

Paper; Printing ink

Techniques

Etching

Subjects depicted

Maps; Soviet Union; Memory; Cartography; Archipelago; Amnesia; Penal colonies

Categories

Prints

Production Type

Limited edition

Collection code

PDP

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Qr_O120078
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