Vik Muniz - Photographs New York Tuesday, October 2, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Exhibited

    Vik Muniz: New Works, Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, 3-28 April 1991

  • Catalogue Essay

    Vik Muniz’s Rosenthal Effect derives its title from the 1968 psychological test on the relationship between expectation and outcome. In it, schoolteachers were led to project either positive or negative performance predictions toward their students to see if expectation on behalf of the teachers played a role in the students’ performance. The results showed that outcome, indeed, was shaped by expectation, as opposed to a purely inherent quality. Muniz’s Rosenthal Effect presents a visual interpretation of the study’s results.

    The installation, comprised of intertwined tubing and photographs of tubing, is purposeful in its chicanery, tricking the eye and subsequently disrupting the mind’s expectation of what a photograph traditionally looks like or how it is presented. In so doing, Muniz successfully paves the way for the series of works which followed, where photographs of preassembled mediums—from blood to diamonds—were used to recreate iconic images from art history. Collectively, Muniz’s oeuvre highlights and at times challenges any immediate associations with the mediums presented as well as the field of photographs itself.


The Rosenthal Effect

Four color coupler prints and rubber tubing.
91 x 39 in. (231.1 x 99.1 cm) overall
Signed, titled and dated in pencil on the reverse of the right frame.

$50,000 - 70,000 

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs
+ 1 212 940 1245


2 October 2012
New York