Marisol

Women and Dog
1963–64

On view
Floor 7

Equal parts painting, collage, carving, and assemblage, Women and Dog was inspired by sources as diverse as its constituent materials. Marisol worked in New York during the emergence of Pop Art in the early 1960s and was one of few women associated with the movement. This sculpture reflects the fascination with everyday life that was fundamental to Pop, and yet its larger-than-life, totemic forms and the multi-faced profiles of the figures belie influences from Pre-Colombian and Native American folk art to analytic Cubism. The trio of females strolling with a child and a dog seem to suggest Marisol’s interest in social norms and conventions relating to women in society, but the composition is ambiguous. Elements of the women’s clothing are colorfully whimsical, yet they are literally “boxed in” by their garments, and their faces are marked by a deadpan impenetrability. The women, and perhaps the child too, are self-portraits—indeed, a photograph of the artist is applied directly onto the face of one of the figures—suggesting a fluid inhabitation of different female roles and identities.

Artist
Marisol

Title
Women and Dog

Date
1963–64

Classification
Sculpture

Medium
Wood, plaster, synthetic polymer, and taxidermied dog head

Dimensions
Overall: 73 9/16 × 76 5/8 × 26 3/4 in. (186.8 × 194.6 × 67.9 cm)

Accession number
64.17a-i

Credit line
Purchase, with funds from the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art

Rights and reproductions information
© Estate of Marisol / Albright-Knox Art Gallery / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Audio

  • America Is Hard to See

    Marisol, Women and Dog, 1964

    Marisol, Women and Dog, 1964

    0:00

    Narrator: The four figures in this group of lifesize sculptures by Marisol are self-portraits of the artist. Attached to the wooden head of the woman with the green skirt and pink blouse is a black and white photograph of the artist. The two women with revolving faces are plaster casts of the artist’s face.

    Marisol: They’re a casting of my face. It’s plaster. They always come out different. But this is myself as a child, the small one.

    Narrator: In addition to the wood, plaster, and the black and white photograph, Marisol used found objects—such as the little girl’s pink bow or the handbag of the woman on the far left.  And, of course, it’s hard to miss the taxidermed dog’s head.  She particularly enjoys working with wood and continues to create sculpture made out of pieces she buys or finds on the street.

    Marisol: There’s no end to gluing and cutting and sanding. [Laughs] 



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