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Wallace Berman

Untitled
1971

Not on view

Date
1971

Classification
Photographs

Medium
Collage of verifax negatives and screenprint on wood

Dimensions
Sheet (sight): 24 × 26in. (61 × 66 cm) Frame: 24 1/2 × 26 5/8 × 1 5/8in. (62.2 × 67.6 × 4.1 cm)

Accession number
91.80.2

Credit line
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Dr. and Mrs. Merle S. Glick

Rights and reproductions
© artist or artist’s estate

Wallace Berman began using a Verifax photocopier around 1964, and it remained his primary tool until the end of his life. He used this technology—already obsolete at the time—to produce a series of works that combined photography, collage, and printing, mediums that had long interested him. In this untitled work, Berman used an image of a hand holding a transistor radio that he appropriated from a 1963 Sony advertisement. He covered the text from the advertisement with white paint and cut out the rectangular space of the speaker before filling it with other found images. After Berman made negative exposures of the individual images on the copy machine, he glued them onto a wood panel in a grid format that emphasizes both the mechanical redundancy and the uniqueness of the repeated forms. This rhythmic structure also transforms the broadcast from the radio into a flow of visual information. Interested in art’s mystical potential, Berman incorporated Hebrew letters at the top left of some of these segments, suggesting a connection to the Kabbalah.  




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