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Ship Caterpillar

1998 Tatyana Zhurkov Born: Kemerovo, U.S.S.R. 1948 mixed media: plastic, Venetian glass, beads, and porcelain 10 x 25 1/4 x 7 7/8 in. (25.5 x 64.0 x 20.0 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Norman H. Volk © 1998, Tatyana Zhurkov 1999.88 Not currently on view

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"The sources and inspiration in modern art can be like drops of water in the large ocean of world culture over all time." Tatyana Zhurkov, "On the Creative Process," 2001

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Ship Caterpillar is named for the legend of the Flying Dutchman, which tells of a ghost ship doomed to sail forever in search of a fragment of the True Cross to redeem the sins of man. A porcelain head at the front of the piece resembles a ship's figurehead, lending guidance and protection. Artificial coral, representing the sea, was used for the hands and oars, and layers of plastic wings symbolize the ship's sails. When the viewer holds this piece, turning it this way and that, the tubes filled with beads imitate the gentle sound of waves.



Figure female - head

decorative arts - glass

Crafts - Glass

ceramic - porcelain


mixed media


readymade - beads

About Tatyana Zhurkov

Born: Kemerovo, U.S.S.R. 1948

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