'Pall: Ixion' 1987 - Arturo Di Stefano

This has a vague human form. It is very dark and looks almost dirty. It has a downward motion that makes it seem like the paint is falling from the canvas or gives the appearance of wet wrinkles in fabric.

Oil and wax on linen, 263 x 310cm

Accession Number WAG10862

Di Stefano was born in Huddersfield but was brought up in Liverpool. He moved to London to complete his studies in the mid-1970s.

In his paintings of the '80s he sometimes used the mythical figure of Ixion to allegorise his struggles as a creative artist. For a combination of pride and sexual transgression Ixion was punished by Zeus, king of the Gods. He was bound to a flaming wheel and made to roll across the sky.

This painting was made after a fire in Di Stefano's studio destroyed much of his work. It is one of a series which explored his feelings of loss and artistic death after the fire. The word 'pall' means both a cloud of smoke and a drape for a coffin and palls appear as a backdrop to each work in the series.