Domestic I.D., IV, 1992
Cole often uses a variety of irons in a single work to allude to different tribal associations. In Domestic I.D., IV of 1992, he labels each "face" with its commercial brand name to encourage this interpretation, ironically suggesting the tribes of Silex and General Electric. This format is reminiscent of the Surrealist and Conceptualist device of mislabeling compositional elements for ironic effect. The window frame in this work, with its obvious signs of wear, reinforces both the domestic, intimate reading of the individual scorches and the sense of metaphorical history. The buckling paper reminds us of the violence of the searing heat Cole applied to imprint these mythical faces, a process akin to branding, and adds an ominous and poignant overtone.

Cole as printmaker
Domestic I.D., IV, 1992
Sunflower, 1994
Stowage, 1997
Domestic I.D., IV
Domestic I.D., IV. 1992. Iron scorches and pencil on paper mounted in recycled painted wood window frame, 35 x 32 x 1 1/8" (88.9 x 81.3 x 3.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchased with funds given by Agnes Gund

©1998 The Museum of Modern Art, New York