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Editions of Maurizio Cattelan’s sculpture “Comedian” (2019), consisting of a banana duct-taped to the wall, sold for up to $150,000 at Art Basel Miami Beach last year, prompting criticism of the art world’s excess as well as fascination over what it makes possible.
In the days and weeks that followed (and for what seemed like too long), people in and outside the industry were recreating the controversial artwork at home and sharing it on social media. For some, its easy reproducibility was a clear testament to its lack of artistic value; for others, Cattelan had brilliantly tapped into the ironic humor and joy of conceptual art.
Now, one edition of the sculpture — or the rights to reproduce it, rather — will belong to the Guggenheim Museum in New York City following a donation by an anonymous collector who owned the work. (Perrotin Gallery sold three editions of “Comedian” at the Miami fair.)
The acquisition itself includes neither duct tape nor a banana; instead, it is simply a certificate of authenticity with 14 pages of installation instructions, according to the New York Times. The banana should be affixed 175 cm (5 feet 9 inches) above the ground and changed every seven to ten days, the guide says.
“Maurizio Cattelan’s work has been important to the recent history of the Guggenheim,” the museum’s director, Richard Armstrong, told Hyperallergic. “The 2011 summary exhibition All presented in the rotunda was daring and intensely memorable. We are grateful recipients of the gift of ‘Comedian,’ a further demonstration of the artist’s deft connection to the history of modern art.”
“Beyond which, it offers little stress to our storage,” the director added.
The Guggenheim has no current plans to exhibit the sculpture.
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
In 1850, when Dr. Robert W. Gibbes commissioned J. T. Zealy to make daguerreotypes of persons held in slavery in and around Columbia, South Carolina, for Harvard Professor Louis Agassiz to use in support of his theory that African people were a separate species, daguerreotypes were at the height of fashion.
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.