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Untitled #698 (Trying to Fly, Houdini's Chandelier)

Petah Coyne

Contemporary Art

Petah Coyne’s fantastical forms, presenting a beauty that slides into the grotesque, allude to death and decay. Her large, arresting sculptures are neither abstraction nor figuration, but exist somewhere be- tween the two. Using a wide range of nontraditional materials including hay, wire, black sand, specially formulated wax, silk flowers, ribbons, artificial birds, earth, hair, and trees, Coyne often veils or covers objects as though they were artifacts frozen in time. Often hanging from the ceiling, her sculptures
project a sense of unease and fragility. Although the materials appear delicate, one senses the weight and density of the works—the gossamer-like Untitled 816 (Dr. Zhivago), for example, weighs three hundred pounds.

Coyne is part of a generation of feminist sculptors who came of age in the late 1980s after Minimalism. Like many of her contemopraries such as Ursula von Rydingsvard, she seeks to integrate themes of nature and the self in her works.
MEDIUM Mixed media
DATES 1991
DIMENSIONS 60 x 36 x 27 in., 10 lb. (152.4 x 91.4 x 68.6 cm, 4.5kg)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Rothfeld Family Collection in memory of Harriet Weill Rothfeld
RIGHTS STATEMENT © Petah Coyne, Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York
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CAPTION Petah Coyne (American, born 1953). Untitled #698 (Trying to Fly, Houdini's Chandelier), 1991. Mixed media, 60 x 36 x 27 in., 10 lb. (152.4 x 91.4 x 68.6 cm, 4.5kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Rothfeld Family Collection in memory of Harriet Weill Rothfeld , 2008.17.1. © Petah Coyne, Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York
IMAGE overall, CUR.2008.17.1_donor_photograph.jpg. Image courtesy of the donor
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Untitled #698 (Trying to Fly, Houdinis Chandelier)