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Modern and Contemporary Art
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Artist: Mona Hatoum, Palestinian, born Lebanon, 1952

Nature morte aux grenades

2006–7

Crystal, mild steel, and rubber

95 x 208 x 70 cm (37 3/8 x 81 7/8 x 27 9/16 in.) other (rubber mat): 69.06 x 188.75 x 0.32 cm(27 3/16 x 74 5/16 x 1/8 in.)
The Heinz Family Fund and Katharine Ordway Fund
2010.150.1
Nature morte aux grenades takes its title from a still-life painting by Henri Matisse, of pomegranates and other fruit on a table. However, Mona Hatoum here plays with the homophone of grenade (French for both “pomegranate” and “grenade”), and what sounds like an innocent subject is in fact a representation of deadly weapons. The image of the grenade recalls its fatal use in conflicts like the Lebanese Civil War (1975–90), which forced the artist herself into exile. In addition, the brightly colored glass speaks to the glorification and aestheticization of weapons in popular culture. The stainless-steel table resembles a surgical or embalming table, further stressing the association with violence and death. Yet the fragile material of the crystal grenades also highlights Hatoum’s nomadic life as an exile, as she made them in collaboration with craftspeople in Italy.
Culture: 
Palestinian
Period: 
21st century
Classification: 
Sculpture
Status: 
Not on view
Bibliography: 

Frauke V. Josenhans et al., Artists in Exile: Expressions of Loss and Hope (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2017), 80–82, no. 9, fig. 2–3.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

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