Black tulip, glasshouse

Kiaer, Ian
Ian Kiaer revisits a premise he has explored through a number of years and museum shows: Alexandre Dumas’s, 'The Black Tulip'. Like the nineteenth-century novelist, Kiaer is attracted by the idea of continually returning to what some believe is a redundant endeavour. For Dumas’s Dutch protagonist that was to attempt to breed an unnaturally-hued, perfectly black flower. For Kiaer, it is to make paintings after paintings. 'Black Tulip, Glasshouse', comprises a white screen hanging low from the ceiling with a projected image of a white cloth with an embroidered floral motif. On the wall hangs a drawing of a sixteenth-century watercolour by the Huguenot artist Jacques le Moyne de Morgues, portraying a woman's body covered in tattoos of tulips and other flowers. The model is a fragment of a glasshouse designed for a private house in Dublin by the Irish iron-founder Richard Turner. Each element of the work brings to attention equivalent notions of cultivation, refinement and composition that occur in both glasshouse and studio. Catherine Antoni
  • Artwork Details: 121.9 x 91.4 x 36cm 61 x 80cm 137.2 x 129.5cm 29.8 x 54.6 x 30.5cm
  • Edition:
  • Material description: Pencil, acrylic, tape, canvas, taffeta, lighting gel, perspex, polystyrene, cardboard, plastic. copper wire, projection screen, slide projector, 35mm slide
  • Credit line: © the artist.
  • Theme:
  • Medium: Installation
  • Accession number: ACC10/2013



The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.