Nash, Paul [British artist 1889-1946]
[Diving suit drying] Trouble in Spain
Spain Spring 1934
215 by 115mm (8½ by 4½ inches).
Unique vintage silver print photograph, inscribed by Nash in pencil to verso “Trouble in Spain” and dated 27.9.34. When Nash was in Spain in 1933/34 trouble was already brewing that was to develop into the Spanish Civil War two years later.
Provenance: Lee Miller and Roland Penrose, by gift to a private collection
The negative for this print is housed in the Tate archives TGA 7050PH/500. The varient negative of two suits taken on the same occasion was shown in ‘La Subversion des images, Surrealisme, Photographie. Film’, Centre Pompidou, 2009, ill pp150 [modern print after a negative held by Tate Gallery; Variant illustrated ‘Paul Nash’s photographs, document and Image’, Causey, Andrew, plate 13, to coincide with the Tate Gallery exhibition of 1973;
Andrew Causey [Paul Nash’s photographs, Tate 1973] notes “In the summer of 1934, Nash’s photography took a new direction. The notion that a photograph is primarily a document gives ground to the idea that a photograph may be an original, and even abstract, work of art.”Nash used a No.1A pocket Kodak series 2 camera. At the date this photograph was printed Nash was living at Swanage. Two years after Nash took this photograph Salvador Dali almost suffocated whilst trying to give a lecture on “Authentic Paranoic Phantoms” in a Diving suit at the opening of the exhibition of International Surrealism in London [11 June 1936]. He had to be prised out of the suit and helmet when it was realised that he could barely breath and the locking nuts on the helmet were jammed. Among the artists exhibiting at the show was Paul Nash.