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Frieze Undine

b. 1965

Judges. 14:5-9
Date unknown

Acrylic on paper
21.25 x 17.25 x 0.75 in.
Gift of Driek and Michael Zirinsky

Friese Udine credits the formation of his style to a found black-and-white graphic painting he stumbled upon in his thirties. Resembling dirty newspaper graphics, Undine’s often bleak drawings employ black lines and off-white negative spaces to address themes related to psychology, history, religion, and his own German ancestry. Undine often takes the titles for his pieces from specific bible verses (Judges. 14:5-9, for example), Freudian theories of psychoanalysis and Niccoli Machiavelli’s writings on morality.

In the bible, Judges 14:5-9 tells the story of Samson and the lion. On a journey to his parents in Timnah, Samson is attacked by a lion, which he brutally kills with divinely given strength. He tells no one of this experience, and when he returns to the lion’s carcass days later, he finds a hive of bees and honey inside it. He scoops the honey and eats it as he returns to his parents, sharing the honey with them without disclosing its origin. In Undine’s Judges. 14:5-9, a man leans over a figure in a Samson-like manner with his hands cupped. However, he is surrounded by garbage and placed in front of a car.

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This object has the following keywords:
  • black
  • buildings - Structures, generally enclosed, that are used or intended to be used for sheltering an activity or occupancy.
  • car
  • garbage - Animal or vegetable refuse from the shipping, processing, or preparation of food.
  • men
  • white

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