Image Credits:Jacob Epstein's Rock Drill. Originally constructed 1913-15

Robotic Futures Epstein’s Rock Drill 1913-15

Even now after nearly 100 years Epstein’s Rock Drill sculpture still has the power to excite and disturb. His ruthless robotic vision of the future of mankind has still not yet materialised in the 21st Century, making this work still as relevant today as it was in 1915 when it was first exhibited.


Epstein’s iconic furturistic vision was created before the Great War. At the time he ws excited by the rapidly advancing machine culture in America and Europe. However his disillusionment with machinery developed at the site of the many maimed and mutalated soliders returning from the First World War trenches. He destroyed the sculpture in 1915 transforming it into a sad sullen but still powerful bronze torso reflective of these events. The original full sculpture was reconstructed in 1974 and is shown here in the context of many of Epstein’s other works in the Garman ryan Collection.