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Elaine Sturtevant - The Art of Appropriating Art

Category: Exhibition 11. March 2015

What makes art art? Is there an aura of authenticity? Can a copy be an original? Is it reference or usurpation? Who is the author?

Appropriation, or „the art of repetition“ as an attack on key notions of art history like authorship, originality, creativity and authenticity: American Elaine Sturtevant (1924-2014) is on display with her complete graphic oeuvre of 100 works in the exhibition Sturtevant. Drawing Double Reversal at the Albertina.

She studied and “repeated” the work of artists of pop art like Jasper Johns (Flags), Andy Warhol (Flowers), and Roy Liechtenstein (Hot Dogs), or of the forefather of conceptual art Marcel Duchamp, taking questions about oeuvre, authorship and originality to a new conceptual level. At the same time she undermined the laws of the art market in a subversive way (e.g. an almost identical Warhol for a fraction of the price). In her blending of conceptual and pop art she copied Duchamp’s reproduced reproductions, so copied originals existed next to original originals and original copies as well as copied copies, adding to the confusion. An everyday object transformed into art, a readymade, becomes a work of art after art after art. (written by Cem Angeli)

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