Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner

Solo en Inglès

Listen to this audio guide of selected works in the exhibition, Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner, co-organized by the Whitney and the Centre Pompidou. 

Elisabeth Sherman: At first glance, this work by Daniel Lefcourt may appear to be a painting from another era. A minimalist canvas of simply black stripes on a white ground.

Upon closer inspection, however, you can see that this is actually almost a sculptural object. It's acrylic on board, cut into this shape and hung directly on the wall. Rather than being all about its form as much as of minimalist painting was, and containing absolutely no content, this work is actually very specifically an absence.

Lefcourt found the mockups from a newspaper's print production, where they had redacted information about a scandalous story that they were covering, leaving only Xs where the images should be, and black lines where all of the text should have been. Lefcourt was drawn to the shapes and forms created by these redacted bands of information, and even more so interested, as he said, in the signs of their absence, that the form itself was very directly reflecting to something that should be there, but isn't quite there.

While not necessarily about our surveillance culture or the hiding or revealing of information by the government, in the contemporary moment this work very much points to all that is around us that we know we cannot see.


Daniel Lefcourt (1975-), Breach of Contract (Total Nonperformance) & Clarification, 2006. Acrylic on composition board, three parts, overall: 90 × 93 in. (228.6 × 236.2 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Promised gift of Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner P.2011.227a-c