Superhuman Nude

Fiona Banner (1966 - )

Inkjet print with 1-colour screenprint and glaze


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© London 2012 / Fiona Banner

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  • About the work
    Country: Japan
    City: Tokyo
    Place: British Embassy

    Fiona Banner’s print features a nude study of a Paralympic athlete, with text.  Overlaid on the image, the text is arranged to define the shapes and forms of the body – ‘every nerve waiting’ and ‘one calf bulging muscle’ – conveying the tension and extraordinary physicality of a body about to compete. Banner commented that she ‘liked the idea of comparing the athlete to a superhero, with some extraordinary prosthetic gift. Looking at an athlete naked’ she stated ‘made them powerful and vulnerable at once’. This work is part of a set of limited-edition prints, commissioned from some of the UK’s most critically acclaimed artists to celebrate London hosting the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympics. A set of these prints was presented to the Government Art Collection.


    Banner uses words to make her works. The concept of making works of art purely from excerpts of text is found commonly in 20th-century and contemporary art British art – Hamish Fulton, Art & Language and Emma Kay are just a few other notable examples of artists who work in this way. Banner established The Vanity Press, a publishing company in 1994, primarily to enable her to explore different text-based ideas through what she regards as the democratic medium of print. Print editions that she has produced under The Vanity Press include All the World’s Fighter Planes (2006) and Nude Standing Poster (2007).

  • About the artist
    Fiona Banner was born in Merseyside and completed a BA in Fine Art at Kingston Polytechnic (1986–89). After finishing her MA in Fine Art at Goldsmith’s College (1991–93), she soon established a reputation as an artist who explored social, political and cultural ideas and themes via her text-based works. Examples of her solo exhibitions include 'The Nam' at the Frith Street Gallery, London (1997), a 1000 page flicker book that features a compilation of descriptions of famous films about the Vietnam War; and 'My Plinth is Your Lap', an installation at Dundee Contemporary Arts (2002). She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2003. In 2010, Banner’s work 'Harrier and Jaguar', featuring two fighter planes, was installed in the Duveen galleries at Tate Britain. An exhibition of her films was shown in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Festival 2013. Banner has also exhibited her work around the world including group shows in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Berlin and Vienna. She lives and works in London. In 2017, her work was included in 'Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11', a group exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, London.
  • Explore
    Materials & Techniques
    screenprint, inkjet print
  • Details
    Superhuman Nude
    Portfolio Title
    London 2012
    HDC 2/10
    Inkjet print with 1-colour screenprint and glaze
    height: 76.00 cm, width: 60.00 cm
    Presented by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, October 2011
    verso, br: Fiona Banner 2011 HDC 2/10
    London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (gift)
    GAC number