4 3/4 x 5 in. (12.1 x 12.7 cm)
Medium and Support:
Cast aluminum and paint
The Charles Rand Penney Collection of the Memorial Art Gallery
Location: Not currently on view
The Charles Rand Penney Collection
Knickerbocker Machine & Foundry, New York
Tanglewood Press, Inc., New York
Seven Objects in a Box
"Seven Objects in a Box"
"Seven Objects in a Box" was the first edition of Pop multiples - that is an editioned group of objects instead of prints. Rosa Esman, a young art collector on a budget, who attended all of the Pop shows and witnessed the popularity of the Warhol and Lichtenstein shopping bags, believed that Pop objects might be met with the same enthusiasm. She had already published the Pop print portfolio, "New York Ten," in 1964. Since artists had begun using or creating objects themselves - Warhol was making Brillo boxes and signing real Campbell soup cans, and Jasper Johns made sculptures of beer cans - Esman envisioned that the next step would be to have artists make a group of objects for a portfolio.
The availability of new technology made it possible to create the artist's visions. For example, Tom Wesselmann's "Little Nude" could not have been created before World War II because the technology of vacuum-formed molding was not available. The artists also needed the ability to mass-produce the objects they designed. Luckily, New York was the perfect place to find offbeat cottage industries capable of producing 100 sand cast faucets and baked enamel sunrises.
The result of Esman's effort is a combination of objects quite typical of each artist's personal work. Warhol used a still from a movie he made in 1963 called "The Kiss." The film froze on a close-up of a black man and a white woman kissing, a subject considered quite provocative at the time. Wesselmann's "Little Nude" is lifted right from his "Great American Nude" series, which he began in 1961, featuring highly simplified, stylized, abruptly cropped female bodies, usually focusing on the lips, nipples and genitalia. D'Arcangelo's "Side-View Mirror" takes his signature highway motif one step further by placing it in actual side-view mirror hardware. In the end, what is left is a series of small-scale mementos of each artist's larger works: mass-produced objects available to the public at a reasonable price so that "consumers" could also be "collectors."
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