Skip to Content

The museum is temporarily closed. Learn more.

Linen on Polyvinyl Chloride

A work made of linen, leather, animal hide, woven cotton, copper, steel cable, paint, and pencil on polyvinyl chloride (pvc) tube.

Image actions

  • A work made of linen, leather, animal hide, woven cotton, copper, steel cable, paint, and pencil on polyvinyl chloride (pvc) tube.

Date:

1993

Artist:

Jimmie Durham
American (Cherokee), born 1940

About this artwork

The prolific sculptor and writer Jimmie Durham left the United States in 1987, moving first to Mexico and then to Europe. Of his youth in a Native American community, he recalls: “Because I showed talent, I was trained to make things we used in ceremonies and also things to sell to tourists. So on the one hand I was participating in important parts of our culture, and on the other, I was participating in our degradation.” Here, Durham combines traditional materials (like linen) and supposedly “authentic” ones (like animal hide) with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), an industrial material used to make, among other things, water and sewer lines; this piece of pipe carries the brand name Apache. The sculpture looks almost utilitarian, yet any functionality remains mysterious—the open ends of the PVC pipe hinting at the capacity for or evacuation of content. This work thus simulates the ambiguity, indeed absurdity, of an ethnographic object extracted from its original context and isolated for display.

Currently Off View

Contemporary Art

Artist

Jimmie Durham

Title

Linen on Polyvinyl Chloride

Origin

United States

Date

1993

Medium

Linen, leather, animal hide, woven cotton, copper, steel cable, paint, and pencil on polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tube

Dimensions

96.5 × 165.1 × 33 cm (38 × 65 × 13 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Society for Contemporary Art

Reference Number

1994.540

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share