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Recent Acquisitions

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Bakelite Robot

46 x 32 3/16 x 9 in. (116.8 x 81.8 x 22.9 cm)

Nam June Paik
United States (Seoul, Korea, 1932 - 2006)

Object Type: Sculpture
Medium and Support: Mixed media
Credit Line: Maurice R. and Maxine B. Forman Fund, Marion Stratton Gould Fund, Clara and Edwin Strasenburgh Fund, Lyman K. and Eleanore B. Stuart Endowment Fund, and Thelma M. Knapp Fund
Accession Number: 2018.34
Location: Currently on view
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Nam June Paik, often referred to as the “Father of Video Art,” studied music performance, art history, and Eastern philosophy in Korea and Japan before making New York City his home in 1964.
Paik expanded the language and materials of artmaking and was part of Fluxus, an international avant-garde art movement. Interested in electronic music and video manipulations, in 1964 Paik created a remote-controlled robot, Robot K-456, which he used in performances, often on the streets of Manhattan. This celebrated artwork spoke to Paik’s efforts to humanize technology, and it inspired his first “Family of Robot” sculpture, made in the 1980s and fashioned from a variety of antique televisions and radios.

Bakelite Robot, created late in life, is a signature work that addresses a variety of artistic and cultural issues: the human form in sculpture, the found object, technology and art, and the transformation of video into a sculptural medium.

[Hawks Gallery reinstallation, summer 2019]

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