This assemblage centres on a piece of driftwood which has a winged form. Painted with circular insignia it suggests ‘flight’, resembling a butterfly or bird with wings outstretched, or perhaps an aircraft or bomber flying over a landscape. Other objects—a circle of red plastic and an old rubber tyre from a child’s toy—evoke bombers and targets, but also suggest the shapes seen in an aerial view of the landscape.

The subject of ‘flight’ had strong connotations for the artist, who was forced to flee from his homeland of Germany in 1936 due to the threat of persecution by the Nazis. The choice of driftwood suggests an object or person ‘drifting’ from one place to another, arriving by chance as if carried by the tides.


  • Title: Flight
  • Creator: Kurt Schwitters
  • Date: 1945
  • Medium: Found objects and oil on board
  • Dimensions: 43 x 35.5
  • Copyright: © Estate of Kurt Schwitters. All rights reserved, DACS.
  • Artist's Dates: 1887-1948

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