Sturtevant - Contemporary Art Part I New York Thursday, May 17, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist; Collection Eugene and Barbara Schwartz, New York; Curt Marcus Gallery, New York; Private collection, United States

  • Exhibited

    Ridgefield, Connecticut, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Post-Abstract Abstraction, 1987; New York, Stux Gallery, 1993; New York, Dickinson Roundell Inc, Aftershock: the legacy of the readymade in Post-War and Contemporary American Art, May 5 – June 20, 2003; Saratoga Springs, Tang Museum, About Painting, 2004

  • Literature

    T. Ostervold, ed., Sturtevant, Stuttgart, 1992, p. 78 (illustrated); T. Girst and F. Naumann, Aftershock: the legacy of the readymade in Post-War and Contemporary American Art, New York, 2003, cat. no. 29, pp. 70-71 (illustrated); T. M. Disch, “Gallery Going”, The New York Sun, December 6, 2003, p. 14; L. Maculan, ed., Sturtevant Catalogue Raisonné Gemälde Skulptur Film und Video, Frankfurt / Ostfildern-Ruit, 2004, cat. no. 27, p. 51 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Elaine Sturtevant made history by selectively copying through exact articulation and spirit the art of her Pop Art contemporaries. In many ways she acted as progenitor for the artistic practice of appropriation, in essence an extension of the Pop Art movement itself, made popular in the 1980s during her career and beyond. In an interview with Leo Castelli, her dealer and great admirer during this period, Sturtevant and Castelli expound:

    Leo Castelli: “Why did she do it? How did this idea occur to her. It was really at the time an incredibly original idea. It was quite amazing; although now you are used to it. At the time when she appeared we were also used to the fact that artists like Marcel Duchamp for instance, did very extravagant things. I think that some of this spirit was communicated, God knows how, to our friend who sits here [Sturtevant], and that she then proceeded to try to do paintings by Jasper, or others. I think it was as faithfully as you could do it?”

    Elaine Sturtevant: “Yes, as close as I could. As exactly as possible.”

    L.C.: “So that they would be really, if you didn’t know, if you looked at them as close as possible, that this was a work by Oldenburg or Jasper Johns or Andy Warhol,” (D. Cameron, “A Conversation: A Salon History of Appropriation with Leo Castelli and E laine Sturtevant”, Flash Art, no. 143, November – December, 1988, p. 76).

  • Artist Biography


    Elaine Sturtevant, known professionally as Sturtevant, was an American artist whose practice considered issues of authorship, authenticity, and the nature of reproduction. Her carefully inexact recreations, referred to as “repetitions,” of the work of her contemporaries attracted almost immediate attention as Sturtevant embarked on this practice in 1964, copying the work of fellow artists and friends like Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, and Roy Lichtenstein. Sturtevant mastered several artforms including painting, sculpture, photography, and film in order to faithfully repeat the work of her contemporaries, continually updating her process in order to keep pace with the changing tides of the avant-garde. Many of the artists Sturtevant repeated, often before they became famous, would later be considered the iconic artists of their respective movements and generations. Her late work is concerned with reproduction and repetition in the digital world.  

    Sturtevant’s work has attracted simultaneous acclaim and criticism for its close copying of the work of other artists. Her work has been praised as innovative and insightful, and the artist has been the subject of major retrospectives at institutions such as the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, the Serpentine Galleries, London, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris. Sturtevant received the Golden Lion at the 2011 Venice Biennale for lifetime achievement. She died in 2014 in Paris, where she had been living and working since the 1990s. 

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Johns Green Target

1986 - 1987
Encaustic and paper collage on canvas.
36 x 36 in. (91.4 x 91.4 cm).
Signed, titled and dated “Johns Green Target Sturtevant 1986/87” on the reverse.

$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $210,000

Contemporary Art Part I

17 May 2007
7pm New York