Mark WallingerKing Edward and the Colorado Beetle 2000

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Artwork details

Mark Wallinger (born 1959)
King Edward and the Colorado Beetle
Date 2000
MediumPotato print on paper
Dimensionssupport: 405 x 305 mm
Acquisition Purchased 2001
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms


Mark Wallinger's print, King Edward and the Colorado Beetle, refers to crop destruction. The Colorado beetle of the title is a small, yellow American beetle whose larva is exceedingly destructive to the potato. Wallinger's potato print uses as its medium the potential victim of the insect. The image of the beetle is repeated five times on the print, with the strongest print at the centre surrounded by increasingly weaker prints. The arrangement of the beetles suggests that these five represent only a tiny section of an endlessly repeating pattern, hinting at the overwhelmingly profuse aspect of the insect world.

Wallinger's work is one of a portfolio of ten prints collectively entitled Bugs. The portfolio was published by the Byam Shaw School of Art in London. Produced as a fundraiser, the proceeds from the portfolio sales were dedicated to providing bursaries to support Byam Shaw students from overseas, particularly those from Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and India. The works in the portfolio use various printmaking processes and share an insect theme which has been interpreted in diverse ways. The theme was set by the school principal, Alister Warman… (read more)

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