America Is Hard to See

Solo en Inglès

This audio guide highlights selected works by artists in America Is Hard to See. Curators, scholars, and artists provide additional commentary.

511—Liliana Porter, Untitled (with Cube – tall), 1974


DONNA DE SALVO: I’m Donna De Salvo, Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs at the Whitney Museum of American Art. 

This is a work by Liliana called Untitled (with Cube – tall), 1974. When you look at this work, you see what appears to be a photograph of a cube sitting on a form. In addition, there are a series of drawn lines. So on one level, the photograph, which always implies something that lives in the world, that’s realistic. And then the drawn line, which is an allusion to something that is not there but added on. And it’s how she brings these two together, and if you really—this work forces you to study it, to engage with it, to really meditate, to a certain extent on the tension that exists between these two kinds of forms and the way it plays with perceptual reality. What’s real? Is it the photograph of the cube? Is it the line that’s drawn, that’s added to the print? It’s these two sort of systems of representation that she brings together in this work, in an extremely beautiful way. 


Liliana Porter (b. 1941), _Untitled (with Cube – tall)_, 1974. Photoetching and graphite pencil: sheet (irregular), 31 3/4 × 24 3/8 in. (80.6 × 61.9 cm); image (composition), 19 1/2 × 12 1/2 in. (49.5 × 31.8 cm); image, 8 7/8 × 11 5/8 in. (22.5 × 29.5 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Print Committee 2011.89 © Liliana Porter courtesy of Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, MA