The Fading White Rhinoceros After Durer’s Rhinoceros

THE FADING NORTHERN WHITE AFTER DURER’S RHINOCEROS, 2018 | pencil on paper | 70 x 70 mm

This work is a reference to Durer’s famous woodcut of a rhinoceros, which he created in 1515. As he had never seen an actual rhinoceros he based his depiction on a written description and rough sketch by an unknown artist of an Indian rhino that had arrived in Lisbon in the same year. This was the first time a rhinoceros had been seen in Europe since the Roman times. This depiction, as well as referencing Durer’s rhinoceros, is an acknowledgement of Sudan, the last remaining male northern white, which died in 2018. Durer’s overly imagined armoured beast is replaced by an animal that is fading in and out of a geometric structure.

“Paul Hazelton, contributes a pair of beautiful drawings so small, you need to press your nose against them to decipher them. One shows Dürer’s famous rhinoceros in a ghostly distance. The other remembers Sudan in his final moments.”

Waldemar Januszczak, Art Review: The Sunday Times, Animals & Us at Turner Contemporary, Margate, 2018
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