Doug Aitken - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Tuesday, November 12, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Regen Projects, Los Angeles

  • Catalogue Essay

    Coined “The Year that Shaped a Generation” by Time magazine, 1968 was a year of profound political, social, and economic transformation – one that signified a loss of innocence from the collective consciousness of a nation, and the world. Both political commentary and personal souvenir, Doug Aitken’s 1968 serves as a memorial and admonition of the cultural turmoil witnessed in the year of his birth. In an environment emotionally charged not only by the escalating conflict in Vietnam, but also the Civil Rights movement and political and social radicalism, the events of 1968 ushered into the American consciousness the recognition of a new, harsh reality, abandoning the
    cultural idealism that had characterized the post-World War II era.

    Foreshadowing the restiveness of the coming months, the year began with one of the most controversial battles of the Vietnam War, The Battle of Khe Sanh, and was followed by the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, prominent figures that had for many served as beacons of hope in the tumultuous political landscape. With shadow cast by such dark incidents, it is unsurprising that Aitken – suggesting a more thoughtful narrative – would choose to represent this year, and our memory of it, in black. The artist’s employment of black mirrors in this work is particularly poignant as a refection of not only the events of 1968, but also as a refection and encouragement of the persistence of this social consciousness in the mind of the viewer. Both nostalgic and prescient, 1968 symbolizes the formative nature of this revolutionary year in the creation of contemporary America.


1968 (black)

high density foam, wood, black mirror, in 4 parts
overall 98 x 35 5/8 x 8 1/4 in. (248.9 x 90.5 x 21 cm.)
Signed "Doug Aitken" on studio label affixed to the reverse of the second element. This work is number 4 from an edition of 4 plus 2 artist's proofs.

$180,000 - 250,000 

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Day Sale
+1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York 12 November 2013 11AM