This set includes works from the Walker Art Center's Event Horizon installation that are examples of artistic appropriation.
Each work of art is introduced by discussion questions. Users can find background information about each work by clicking the "More Info" button at the bottom of each slide. For even more information about the works in Event Horizon, refer to Event Horizon: A Study Set.
This and four other Event Horizon sets explore the installation through the lenses of five elements of contemporary art: appropriation, hybridity, performance, space, and time. Visitors can use this set to create their own thematic tour of the exhibition or generate a discussion on what appropriation means in the practice of artists working today.
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Appropriation in art is the use of preexisting images and objects to create a work of art. Artists have appropriated, or borrowed, items and imagery from such sources as advertising, mass media, art history, everyday life, or even their own work. Sometimes the subjects are altered, combined with other images or objects, or placed in a new context.
Appropriation questions the idea that all art is original. Artists choose to reuse images or objects for various reasons, including paying homage or tribute to another artist or style, using irony to criticize or mock, forcing a fresh perspective through jarring juxtapositions or unexpected contexts, or challenging viewers to consider the very nature of art.
Who is the subject of this painting?
What event do these images bring to mind?
Where do you think Andy Warhol found these images?
What did he do to change or alter them when he made this work?
What big idea or message do you think Andy Warhol was conveying in this work?
Spend a few minutes carefully examining this work. Use the zoom tool for a closer look.
What materials do you notice? Which of those materials seem to be appropriated?
Why do you think this artist chose to use these materials for an artwork?
What is appropriated in this sculpture? (Follow the link below to see the source of this art work.)
How has Sherrie Levine changed her work from the original? What has she kept the same?
What questions does this raise for you?
Click here to see the Man Ray painting La Fortune (Luck) that inspired this appropriation:
Man Ray American, 1890–1976
La Fortune (Luck) 1938
oil on canvas
Collection Whitney Museum of American Art
Purchase, with funds from the Simon Foundation, Inc.
Photo: Geoffrey Clements
©2009 Man Ray Trust/Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY/ADAGP, Paris
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What materials did Thomas Hirschhorn use to make this work? Where do you think he found them?
What do these materials remind you of?
What else is appropriated in this work?
Why do you think he chose to title this work "Archaeology"?
Use the zoom feature to carefully examine this print. To see the entire set, open up the Work of Art detail page by clicking on the "More Info" button and toggle through the "previous" and "next" buttons.
The background images in these prints were appropriated by Kara Walker. When do you think they were made? What event are they illustrating? What do you see that helps you know this?
(They are from Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War which was first published in 1866 by Harpers's Weekly magazine, described as the most popular magazine in America during the Civil War years.)
What did the artist add to these images from the Civil War?
How do these additions change the stories that the illustrations originally told?
Why do you think Kara Walker made these works? What message or meaning do you draw from them?