Oil on canvas
100 x 85 cm
In A Voluptuary under the horrors of Digestion, Gillray’s satirical 1792 image of the Prince Regent (known in his time as “the Prince of Whales”) is stretched into near-abstraction, its speckles of dripped colour a reminder of Billingham’s historical distancing: print becoming paint. A six-leaf folding screen, meanwhile, composed of the bottom halves (front and back) of three different paintings of the Three Graces, with images of fountains on the other side, seems concerned with lost ideals of beauty. Their rendering – loose, gestural, vague – is part of their sense of absence: they’re not quite here.