Sunday, July 7, 2013

Slantwise across the sky

Sarah Charlesworth, one of the pioneers in Conceptual Art, died two weeks ago.

The Lobster and the Canary are fascinated by her slantwise approach to the world, the way she excised elements to create a new set of objects, a sculptor of images carving away the surface to get to the core.  She helped teach us to see the shadow-lines as the most important vectors, to see the negative space as the essence of the volume, to read a new story into and behind the narrative distracting us with its bombast.

Arguably her most famous work is Arc of Total Eclipse, February 26, 1979, partially reproduced here.  She photographed the front page of c. 20 separate newspapers in the Pacific Northwest as each recorded the eclipse, and then she eliminated all but the mastheads and the photographs, resulting in an eccentric document of the sun's passage across the region and into Canada.   The newspapers did not all use the same photographs, so the event becomes even more singular.   There is no standard, straight-on, transparent story here.   We all see the same things-- even the greatest of natural phenomena--in our own ways.

Click here and here for more.  As always, the artist and/or her representatives hold copyright in the images displayed here (I believe the Whitney in NYC holds the original work).   All images downloaded from public web sites, for non-commercial use and for purposes of commentary only.

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