Four Thousand Images
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
On View: Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Northeast (Herstory gallery), 4th floor
Stella Waitzkin found her creative voice building elaborate personal environments in her apartment in the Chelsea Hotel and house on Martha’s Vineyard. A lover of books as objects and metaphors for intellectual freedom, Waitzkin collected thousands of volumes and cast them in resin, rendering them into unreadable sculptural abstractions, and built ambitious installations of freestanding bookcases and library walls to house them. She also cast human faces and other household objects to embellish her environments. In the avant-garde atmosphere of the downtown art scene of the 1970s, Waitzkin also made political performances, taking to heart Robert Rauschenberg’s famous advice that artists should “live at the intersection of art and life.”
Waitzkin became an artist while raising a family in Great Neck, New York, taking the train into the city to study painting with Hans Hofmann and drawing with Willem de Kooning. After her divorce, the artist moved to New York City, where, in spite of the friendships she forged with artists Franz Kline, Malcolm Morley, Louise Nevelson, and Larry Rivers, she became increasingly suspicious of the art world, withdrawing over the decades into her work and the environments she created.
48 x 70 x 12 1/2 in. (121.9 x 177.8 x 31.8 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Agnes Gund, New York
© Waitzkin Memorial Library Trust
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Stella Waitzkin (American, 1920-2003). Four Thousand Images, 1993. Polyester resin, 48 x 70 x 12 1/2 in. (121.9 x 177.8 x 31.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Agnes Gund, New York, 2012.69. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , CUR.2012.69_overall.jpg)
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