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Pyke Koch

The Resting Sleepwalker IV, 1971

Pyke Koch left behind a relatively small oeuvre. He only painted around 100 works in the course of his 45-year career. This is hardly surprising considering his work ethos, namely his near inexhaustible dedication in the pursuit of technical perfection. He did not readily consider a painting finishe ... d and when dissatisfied would simply destroy it. He often painted several versions of the same subject. This work, for example, is the last in a series of four. The Sleepwalker references Henri Rousseau’s iconic work entitled La Bohémienne Endormie from 1897 (Museum of Modern Art, New York). Koch painted the sleepwalker at rest in a mountain landscape. Could this mean that we are in the dream of the – non-ambulant – sleepwalker? Koch was very familiar with the theories of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and seems to have incorporated numerous erotic allusions in this painting. The transmitter mast and the candelabra (phallus symbols), the attempts to ignite the fire (lust), the sewing machine and the torn dress all contribute to what appears to be sexually charged symbolism. Text: Myrthe Wesseling, guide and museum host
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Artist
Pyke Koch
Title
The Resting Sleepwalker IV
Year
1971
Technique
Oil on canvas
Size
45.5 x 75.5 cm (h x w)
Type of object
Painting
Copyright
© Pictoright

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