Appropriation Art is a modern art movement that questions the creative act by incorporating imagery or concepts that are lifted, adapted, or directly referenced from a commercial, pop culture, historical art or other precedent, generally without the permission of the original creator. This reuse is intended to elucidate the effect of re-framing the borrowed image/concept, bringing out new meaning or raising questions about the implications of the original piece.
While appropriation raises a number of copyright issues, the practice has become perhaps permanently engrained in modern art. The movement began with artist Marcel Duchamp and his series of Readymade objects, created between 1913 and 1917, in which Duchamp repositioned everyday objects in fresh circumstances to create new art. One such example, perhaps the most well-known Readymade, is the piece entitled "Fountain," a porcelain urinal signed "R. Mutt." Sherrie Levine's response, likewise named "Fountain," re-appropriates the concept of the urinal and casts it in bronze, interpreting Duchamp's work in a new way, a way interpreted as exhorting a feminist message from a masculine object originally framed as art by a prominent male artist. In yet another infamous train of appropriation, Levine took head-on photographs of Walker Evans' photographs portraying impoverished Depression-era Alabama Sharecroppers, provoking questions on the authenticity and originality of Evans' work and subject matter. Artist Michael Mandiberg's added a further layer of complexity in 2001 with his series of scanned reproductions of Levine's photographs of Evans' work, once again calling attention to issues of originality and authenticity, particularly in an age of unrestrained digital reproduction.(read less)
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June 6th 2009 - June 6th 2010
December 3th 2009 - March 14th 2010
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