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Sue Johnson

Artist Statement Submitted 2019

The ethos of my work reframes objects of desire, both those considered animate and inanimate, mining the archive while merging the anthropomorphic nature of recognizable things with the disquieting pictorial language of ‘vanitas’. Hall of Portraits from The History of Machines imagines the cultural evolution of the modern female form as conjoined with objects of domestic convenience, efficiency, and planned obsolescence. The project looks back to the mid-20th century and identifies this era as a cornerstone in the construction of the modern woman, who, begins at this time to be idealized as sharing attributes with laboring-saving appliances, devices and gadgets for the home. Each over-sized portrait measures 109.25 inches tall, which is the exact height of Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass). By placing this project in conversation with Duchamp, I am inviting a deeper look at the taxonomy of female representation.

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