Biological Camouflage: Renaissance Series I – IV (1978)

11 Jun

Biological Camouflage Renaissance III (1978)

These four images are drawn from Holcombe’s Biological Camouflage project, the complete sequence of around 300 works constructed between 1975 – 1978, seemingly based on a single precedent made in 1957, but also anticipated in numerous other works, including 1953’s Feast. The Renaissance group stand at a certain distance from the main group of Biological Camouflage images by adding their cellular, anatomical and other medical and surgical overlays to paintings, frescoes and tapestries rather than the landscapes and architectural photographs found elsewhere. Their look is also less minimal than is the case with other works in the series. The Biological Camouflage project as a whole divides into several clearly defined groups of collages, unified by particular shared locations: the Swabian Alps, Puglia & Umbria, New Zealand, the Negev, Scotland, Australia and Ottawa among them. These geographically defined groupings often operate as a kind of Land Art on paper, suggesting spatial displacements and difficult to define apparitions in architectural and natural locations, while the Renaissance variants tend to be more concerned with form and colour than the larger series they emerged from.

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