Cerith Wyn Evans, Untitled (Perfect Lovers), 2008 / After Félix González-Torres
This Isn’t Who It Would Be, If It Wasn’t Who It Is
Jan 12 – Feb 17, 2024
Casey Kaplan
New York, USA

Casey Kaplan is pleased to announce This Isn’t Who It Would Be, If It Wasn’t Who It Is, a group exhibition organized by Alex Glauber that spans nearly five hundred years and illustrates the breadth of inspiration, from misattribution to homage. For centuries, artists have explored implications of authorship, creative precedent, and tenuous attribution. Through pseudonym, quotation, collaboration, and conceptual obfuscation, artists embrace and anticipate nebulous interpretations. The artists included lay their influences bare or invite an epistemic “misreading” of their work, reminding us that art is rarely created in a vacuum and is instead both beholden to and framed by the past. The self-awareness of context is borne out in strategies that make conversations between influences central and complicate historiography for future audiences.

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This Isn’t Who It Would Be, If It Wasn’t Who It Is charts the myriad ways artists have deployed strategies that confuse taxonomy in the past century. Artists like Vern Blosum, Bruce Conner, and Michael (Corinne) West work under pseudonyms that complicate reception. Others embed collaborative concepts into the structure of their work as seen in the Surrealist drawing game “Cadavre Exquis” whereby artists compose a passage within a drawing or collage before folding it and passing it onto the next contributor. A similar logic unfolds across Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #869, Copied Lines (1998) where, like a game of telephone, people participate in copying a single line across a wall to create a visual tautology. The use of instructions to obscure authorship and thwart attribution is equally foundational to Rudolf Stingel’s seminal 1989 work, Instructions, which illustrates the procedures associated with making his paintings.

Artists: Anonymouse, Darren Bader, Mike Bidlo, Vern Blosum, Andre Breton, Jaqueline Lamba, Yves Tanguy, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Claude Cahun, Bruce Conner, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Workshop, Cerith Wyn Evans, Walker Evans, Emily Feather, Ull Hohn, Sherrie Levine, Hannah Levy, Sol LeWitt, Mateo López, Jonathan Monk, William Morris, Richard Prince, Paul Sietsema, Simon Starling, Rudolf Stingel, Sturtevant, David Thorpe, Ella Walker, Andy Warhol, Michael (Corinne) West

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