Ceri Richards

Relief Construction (Bird and Beast)

About this artwork

Richards began making relief constructions in 1934. This is an early example of one of those pieces. During the 1930s Richards's work was influenced by Surrealism; the abstract nature of this work shows the influence of both Surrealism and Cubism. Some critics have commented on the erotic subtext of the piece, interpreting the aggressively jagged 'beast' as female and the wide-eyed bird as male. Even without reading sexual references into the relief, the construction is both comic and sinister.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    Relief Construction (Bird and Beast)
  • date created:
    1936
  • materials:
    Wood construction, raffia, plaster and oil
  • measurements:
    board 60.30 x 78.10 cm; Relief 42.80 x 60.30 cm;
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1975
  • accession number:
    GMA 1517
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Ceri Richards

Ceri Richards