Modern Means of Execution

Colophon
2008 (printed), 2009 (Published)
Modern Means of Execution thumbnail 1
Modern Means of Execution thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

‘Modern Means of Execution’ (now titled ‘No Human Way to Kill’) is a suite of 12 etchings (with introduction by Michael Peppiatt), 2008, by Robert Priseman (published by Goldmark Gallery). A series of airless and studiedly neutral black-and-white line etchings, they show an electric chair, a guillotine, a garrotte, trap door gallows, gas chamber, a pile of stones, and other means of execution, comprising a graphic account of the death penalty around the world. In his precision and detail Priseman emphasises the pseudo-scientific nature of the gas chamber or the lethal-injection gurney, the craftsmanship in the construction of the guillotine and the electric chair. The revised title was suggested by a staff member at Amnesty International, as being more ‘approachable’ than the original. The coolly dispassionate style of the etchings themselves evokes the cruelty and horror of the subject matter more effectively than anything more expressive and animated could do.
The prints are featured in a book, ‘ No Human Way to Kill’ published by Seabrook Press in association with the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex and Amnesty International in 2009. The original drawings are in the collection of the Mead Art Museum, Massachusetts.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleNo Human Way to Kill (alternative title)
Materials and Techniques
Letterpress
Brief Description
Colophon with introduction by Michael Peppiatt for 'Modern Means of Execution', 2009, a portfolio of 12 etchings by Robert Priseman
Physical Description
Print on paper
Dimensions
  • Height: 30.5cm
  • Width: 30.5cm
Copy Number
10/45
Credit line
Given by Robert Priseman
Summary
‘Modern Means of Execution’ (now titled ‘No Human Way to Kill’) is a suite of 12 etchings (with introduction by Michael Peppiatt), 2008, by Robert Priseman (published by Goldmark Gallery). A series of airless and studiedly neutral black-and-white line etchings, they show an electric chair, a guillotine, a garrotte, trap door gallows, gas chamber, a pile of stones, and other means of execution, comprising a graphic account of the death penalty around the world. In his precision and detail Priseman emphasises the pseudo-scientific nature of the gas chamber or the lethal-injection gurney, the craftsmanship in the construction of the guillotine and the electric chair. The revised title was suggested by a staff member at Amnesty International, as being more ‘approachable’ than the original. The coolly dispassionate style of the etchings themselves evokes the cruelty and horror of the subject matter more effectively than anything more expressive and animated could do.

The prints are featured in a book, ‘ No Human Way to Kill’ published by Seabrook Press in association with the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex and Amnesty International in 2009. The original drawings are in the collection of the Mead Art Museum, Massachusetts.

Collection
Accession Number
E.684:2-2014

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdOctober 7, 2014
Record URL