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Fuck Painting #6

Betty Tompkins

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Betty Tompkins’s monumental, monochromatic details of sex acts offer dual readings: from up close, the paintings appear as frosty and delicate abstractions, but their impact from a distance is one of pornographic exactitude. Fuck Painting #6 is from Tompkins’s important 1969–74 series of the same name. According to the artist, the series’ hardcore subject matter was a response to the oversaturation of nondescript abstract paintings being produced at the time. A studied painter, Tompkins challenged herself to strip away everything she enjoyed about painting—even her own unique brushwork—electing instead to use spray paint to entirely eliminate any sensual gestures in the painting’s surface, engaging a cool and unemotional technique to depict the erotic and the raw.

Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection marks the first time a work from Tompkins’s Fuck Painting series is on view in a U.S. museum.
MEDIUM Acrylic on canvas
DATES 1973
DIMENSIONS 83 1/4 × 60 × 1 1/2 in. (211.5 × 152.4 × 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Robert Gober and Donald Moffett
PROVENANCE Prior to 2016, provenance not yet documented; by 2016, acquired by Robert Gober and Donald Moffett of New York, NY; 2016, gift of Robert Gober and Donald Moffett to the Brooklyn Museum.
Provenance FAQ
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Betty Tompkins (American, born 1945). Fuck Painting #6, 1973. Acrylic on canvas, 83 1/4 × 60 × 1 1/2 in. (211.5 × 152.4 × 3.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Robert Gober and Donald Moffett, 2016.23. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2016.23_PS9.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 2016.23_PS9.jpg., 2018
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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Betty Tompkins (American, born 1945). <em>Fuck Painting #6</em>, 1973. Acrylic on canvas, 83 1/4 × 60 × 1 1/2 in. (211.5 × 152.4 × 3.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Robert Gober and Donald Moffett, 2016.23. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2016.23_PS9.jpg)