Detail of Rock Drill (Reconstruction 1974) Birmingham City Art Gallery, UK
In 1913 Sir Jacob Epstein created an astonishing figure, now recognised as the sculptural masterpiece of the Vorticist movement.
It comprised a life sized figure of a visored robotic man seated upon an actual rock drill. It was shown briefly in 1915 before being dismantled. This is a reconstruction made in 1974 from Epsteins original studio photographs.
This disturbing figure was conceived as Europe slid into the chaos of the First World War. It reduces the human form to a faceless robot, at one with the machine it straddles – an appropriate symbol of the first mechanised conflict.
Background and lighting effects added with PSP
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