Vik Muniz

Picture of Dust (Tony Smith, Die, 1962, installed at the Whitney Museum in "From the Collection: Photography, Sculpture, and Painting," July 14, 1994-February 26, 1995)
2000

Not on view

Vik Muniz began his career as a sculptor, but he soon became more interested in photographic reproductions of sculptures than in the objects themselves. In his work, Muniz began translating recognizable images created by other artists into new, often unusual materials, which he then photographed. In Pictures of Dust, a series of photographs created expressly for the Whitney, Muniz worked with installation photographs of Minimalist and Postminimalist art exhibited at the Museum over the preceding four decades. Using dust gathered from the Museum’s galleries and offices, he made drawings based on the installation photographs, which he then photographed and enlarged. “I became interested in Minimalist art,” Muniz explained, “because it attempts to avoid interpretation and historical contextualization. Minimalist art refers to nothing but itself.” Muniz selected dust as his drawing material for its ephemeral nature and its irregular form, characteristics which contrast sharply with the solid masses and geometric rigor of Minimalism. Whereas Minimalist art attempts to defy time, place, and style, dust is a residue that suggests decay and the passage of time. “In Pictures of Dust,” Muniz explains, “Minimalist art is orderly, dust is chaos.”

Artist
Vik Muniz

Title
Picture of Dust (Tony Smith, Die, 1962, installed at the Whitney Museum in "From the Collection: Photography, Sculpture, and Painting," July 14, 1994-February 26, 1995)

Date
2000

Classification
Photographs

Medium
Chromogenic print

Dimensions
Overall: 70 3/4 × 88 1/8 in. (179.7 × 223.8 cm) Frame: 74 1/2 × 92 1/16 in. (189.2 × 233.8 cm)

Accession number
2001.56

Credit line
Gift of Brent Sikkema, New York, and the artist

Rights and reproductions information
© artist or artist’s estate


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