Untitled #750 (Bird Wedding Cake)
On View: Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Northeast (Herstory gallery), 4th floor
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.
Wax, wire mesh, steel, metal chain, artificial flowers (silk?), artificial
birds, white fabric (satin?)
overall: 38 x 32 x 32 in., 260 lb. (96.5 x 81.3 x 81.3 cm, 117.9kg) (show scale)
Gift of the Rothfeld Family Collection in memory of Harriet Weill Rothfeld and Designated Purchase Fund
© Petah Coyne, Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York
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Petah Coyne (American, born 1953). Untitled #750 (Bird Wedding Cake), 1993. Wax, wire mesh, steel, metal chain, artificial flowers (silk?), artificial
birds, white fabric (satin?), overall: 38 x 32 x 32 in., 260 lb. (96.5 x 81.3 x 81.3 cm, 117.9kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Rothfeld Family Collection in memory of Harriet Weill Rothfeld and Designated Purchase Fund, 2008.17.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Image courtesy of the donor, CUR.2008.17.2_donor_photograph.jpg)
. Image courtesy of the donor
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