The second to last node of the Capitain Petzel Rhizome series brings together a selection of works by artists affiliated with the legendary Pictures Generation. Influenced by Conceptual and Pop Art of the 1970s, the Pictures Generation artists worked with appropriation and montage to reveal the constructed nature of images. By experimenting with a variety of media, including photography, film, video and performance, their practices exposed recurring tropes and stereotypes in popular visual culture and demonstrated that the meaning of a work is dependent on its historical and social circumstances. The Pictures Generation’s frequent reworking of known imagery would contest notions of individuality and authorship, making the movement an influential part of postmodernism.
The defining moment of the movement came in 1977 with the exhibition Pictures at Artist Space in New York, curated by Douglas Crimp. In the accompanying essay, Crimp described the participants of the exhibition as “a group of younger artists [that] sees representation as an inescapable part of our ability to grasp the world around us”. The 1977 show included works by Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo and Philip Smith. In this Rhizome, Brauntuch and Longo are present, as well as Barbara Bloom, Matt Mullican and Rhys Chatham who also became affiliated with the visionary movement. In 2009, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) held The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984, a seminal exhibition which focused exclusively on this group of artists, affirming the long-standing relevance of their visions in the art world.
Matt MullicanUntitled (Frame/Elements Empathy), 2016Oil stick rubbing and gouache on canvas75 x 150 cm / 29.7 x 59.1 inches
Barbara BloomSad Grey Story: Marilyn, 2020Seamless backdrop paper, upholstered wood bench, framed print, six books, color paint sample cardDimensions variable
Troy BrauntuchUntitled (Scarf), 2015Mixed pigments on cotton104.1 x 116.8 cm
41 x 46 inches
Robert LongoMore Monolith / Lost Monolith, 2018Urethane resin, epoxy resin, steelEach: 335.3 x 137.2 x 20.3 cm / 132 x 54 x 8 inchesEdition of 3
Robert LongoStudy of Shattered iPhone Screen, 2016Ink and charcoal on vellumimage size with signature:
54.3 x 35.6 cm / 21.4 x 14 inches
90.5 x 69.3 x 4.2 cm / 35.6 x 27.3 x 1.7 inches