139.1 x 113.7 cm (54 3/4 x 44 3/4 inches) (framed)
Richard Brown Baker Fund for Contemporary British Art
This contemporary drawing in an elaborate gilded frame is an overblown, fanciful design for a “colonial” pendulum clock. While the central clock face displays Paris time, the other clocks represent France’s four major colonies: Ivory Coast, Senegal, French Indochina (modern-day Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos), and French Guiana. Above each clock is the main agricultural export associated with that place, the fruits coming together at the top in a pyramidal fruit salad above Paris. Blending elements of French Rococo style from the 1700s and chinoiserie—Asian-inspired European decoration—Bronstein creates a seemingly innocent design highlighting France’s troubled legacy of colonialism. The wealth undergirding such extravagant luxury and the taste for “exotic” styles—evident in other works in this gallery—were brought about by European exploitation of non-European people and lands.