Torso Study I
© Ken Currie

Reference URL

Torso Study I 1994
  • Scottish Art
In the mid-1990s Currie moved away from narrative history painting to explore the wider, universal theme of human destructiveness. This was inspired in part by the political events and atrocities which were taking place in Eastern Europe at the time. Currie has described his work of this period as ‘explicitly about the acutely troubled and disturbing time in which we live’. ‘Torso Study I’ is a rigorously observed, un-idealised study of human anatomy, grotesquely depicted, suggesting a figure ravaged by the experience of living in the real world. The work expresses the artist’s personal despair at a world where violence and social deprivation are commonplace.

Glossary Open


A decorative element comprising figures, animals, plants, mythological creatures and architectural elements which are often combined in bizarre configuration. Originating in ancient Rome, such details were revived in the Renaissance following the rediscovery of ancient murals.

History painting

Paintings in which the subject is taken from biblical, classical or other mythological histories.

Narrative art

An artwork that tells a story.

Grotesque, History painting, Narrative art


  • Acc. No. GMA 3937
  • Medium Charcoal, pastel, oil and beeswax on paper
  • Size 77.00 x 89.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased (Knapping Fund) 1996