Artwork Detail

Not Yet Titled
2004/2005
American, b. 1947
Cibachrome laminated on aluminum museum box
39 3/8 x 44 x 1 5/8 "
University purchase, Bixby Fund, and with funds from Helen Kornblum, 2006
WU 2006.0003
Louise Lawler is one of a group of artists associated with the so-called Pictures generation of the 1970s and 1980s. The Pictures generation conceived of the image as a “picture”—that is, as a set of representations that could be found or appropriated, was rarely original or unique, and that contradicted the claims of authenticity upheld by most modern aesthetics. Lawler’s "Not Yet Titled" belongs to a long series of projects that investigate the afterlife of artworks—what happens to them after they leave the artist’s studio and enter the domain of private homes or public institutions. This photograph captures Gordon Matta-Clark’s “building cut” "Bingo" (1974) just after it was installed in the contemporary art galleries of the recently renovated Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2004. Only the top of "Bingo" is visible in the near foreground, as the edges of Matta-Clark’s object alternately frames and obscures smaller black-and-white photographs of buildings by the contemporary artist Thomas Struth mounted on the gallery walls behind. Lawler’s luminous color photograph demonstrates the ways in which an institution can change the meaning of an object, as it turns "Bingo"—already transformed from a building part into a sculpture—into an enigmatic framing device that calls into question the relationships between both the artworks and their context. [Exhibition brochure text, 2010]