Quick Shift of the Head Leaves Glowing Stool Afterimage Posited on Pedestal

1978
Robert Cumming (American, born in 1943)


Dimensions

Image: 19.7 x 24.9 cm (7 3/4 x 9 13/16 in.) Mount: 40.3 x 50.5 cm (15 7/8 x 19 7/8 in.)

Accession Number

1990.55

Medium or Technique

Photograph, gelatin silver print

Not On View

Collections

Americas, Contemporary Art, Photography

Classifications

Photographs

From an edition of 5


Constructed in the studio, contemporary photographer Robert Cumming’s conceptual images of the 1970s often take shape as pseudo-scientific presentations, witty jokes with deeply layered meanings that address our notions of perception and illusion. This example is a false diptych that purports to be a demonstration of the scientific phenomenon described in its title. In the picture, a real stool, in bright sunlight, is shown next to its image, which seems to vibrate optically beside it. But the “afterimage” (in reality, an evanescent phenomenon) is here a spray-painted illusion, falsified “proof” that contrasts with the truthfulness of the photograph. Cumming willingly revealed his joke by including the aerosol paint can in the picture.

Inscription

Titled, in graphite, below image, on mount, l. l.; Signed and dated in graphite, below image, on mount, l. r.: "Cumming 1978"

Provenance

Castelli Graphics, New York; purchased January 1990.
Through funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and Richard L. Menschel, Bela T. Kelman, Judge and Mrs. Matthew Brown, Mildred S. Lee, and Barbara M. Marshall.

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by the National Endowment for the Arts and Richard L. Menschel, Béla T. Kalman, Judge and Mrs. Matthew Brown, Mildred S. Lee, and Barbara M. Marshall

Copyright

© Robert H. Cumming Jr. Living Trust / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY