Curtain I – VII  is a series of seven prints referencing the militant suffragette Mary Raleigh Richardson’s attack on Velasquez’s painting, ‘The Toilet of Venus’ at the National Gallery, London in 1914, and the subsequent concealment of that act. Richardson’s incisions have been historicised as her protest against the re-arrest of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, yet the details and emphasis of each account vary greatly and her marks have been carefully repaired by conservators.
Repeatedly photocopying documentation of the effect Richardson wrought on the painting, Davis re-inscribed the reproduction of Richardson’s cuts in pencil, leaving Velasquez’s painted outline of Venus to deteriorate as it is repeatedly and mechanically copied. Curtain I – VII questions whether Richardson’s lacerations could be re-imagined as inscriptions or reparations, as additions rather than removals – or both.
Link to accompanying artists multiple here.