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Indepth Arts News:

"Sturtevant: Push and Shove"
2005-05-06 until 2005-06-16
Perry Rubenstein Gallery
New York, NY, USA United States of America

Perry Rubenstein Gallery is pleased to announce that renowned artist Sturtevant will be the subject of a solo show this May in both the 23rd and 24th Street galleries. This large-scale exhibition marks the artists first major solo show in New York in nearly 10 years. Working alongside her contemporaries beginning in the mid-1960s, Sturtevant (born 1930 in Lakewood, Ohio) is best known for her repetition of works by Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Claus Oldenburg, Jasper Johns and Joseph Beuys, among others. Exploring originality, copy, fake, replica and simulacra, her work has been a meditation as much as a provocation on such concepts, continuing to garner attention in her forty years of practice from both the fields of art history and philosophy.

The exhibition will include an installation of Marcel Duchamp’s 1200 coal bags, approximately ten ready-made objects, and the film Nude Descending the Staircase produced in 1967. In the 24th Street space, the artist will premiere a seven-channel video installation, The Dark Threat of Absence/ Fragmented and Sliced (2003).

In September 2004, Sturtevant was the focus of a major museum show, “The Brutal Truth”, at the Museum fur Moderne Kunst(MMK), Frankfurt, Germany, marking Sturtevant’s first extensive museum survey. The exhibition featured over 140 artworks by the artist spanning four decades of work. To accompany the MMK exhibition a book designed by the artist has been published containing facsimile handwritten notes, an interview with John Waters, texts by Bernard Blistčne, Udo Kittelmann and Mario Kramer, and reproductions of the exhibited works. A second volume has recently been published and is a catalogue raisonné of the artist’s paintings, sculptures, film and video works.

From May 11 until July 10, 2005, selections from “Sturtevant: The Brutal Truth” will travelto MIT’s List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA.

Over the past forty years, Sturtevant has been making use of perhaps the most radical work of her generation, adhering to a rigorous conceptual strategy. In 1964, she decided to repeat contemporary works by her artist colleagues and to avail herself of these as a source and catalyst for “expanding and developing current aesthetic ideas, examining the concept of originality and exploring the relationship between original and originality, as well as accessing space for new thinking” (Sturtevant). The remarkable thing about this is that Sturtevant chose works that have since become “icons” in the more recent history of art. By repeating existing works, Sturtevant achieves an absolutely intriguing effect, so that one could turn American art critic Alan R. Solomon’s question: “Is it a flag or is it a painting?” into “Is it a Johns or is it a Sturtevant?” As the artist herself says: “The brutal truth of this work is that it is not a copy.” Like no other artist before her, Sturtevant poses the question of the true value of art in the art business, of authorship, of the genuinely creative role, and puts the terms “original” and “originality” up for debate. Her work, which includes painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, film and video, is still capable of emotionally and intellectually provoking viewers, as she holds up the mirror to the (art) world so that it can recognize what it is.

“Art Awards 2005,” presented annually by Beaux Arts Magazine, has awarded Sturtevant“ Best International Exposition” for “Sturtevant: The Brutal Truth” curated by UdoKittelmann at the Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt, Germany. This prize is given annually in Paris, the city Sturtevant has called home since the mid 1970s.

“Sturtevant: The Brutal Truth” was selected Best International Exposition 2005 by an international committee from among other nominees including: “The Unilever Series: Olafur Eliasson—The Weather Project” at the Tate Modern, London; “Minimal Future” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; “Utopia Station,” Haus der Kunst, Munich; and, “Manifesta 5,” San Sebastian. “Sturtevant: The Brutal Truth” was selected by a 13-member international jury including: Hans-Ulrich Obrist, of the Museum of Modern Art de la Ville, Paris; Beatrix Ruf, director of Kunsthalle, Zurich; Toby Webster of The Modern Institute, Glasgow, among others.

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