Carving: A Traditional Sculpture

A work made of 148 gelatin silver prints and text panel.

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  • A work made of 148 gelatin silver prints and text panel.

Date:

1972

Artist:

Eleanor Antin
American, born 1935

About this artwork

A landmark early feminist work, Eleanor Antin’s Carving: A Traditional Sculpture comprises 148 black-and-white photographs documenting the artist’s loss of 10 pounds over 37 days. Every morning she was photographed naked in the same four stances to record her barely perceptible self-induced weight loss. (The photographs from each day are arranged vertically, and the entire process can be read horizontally, like a filmstrip.) Antin’s performance purposely toyed with the traditional process of Greek sculptors, who were said to find their ideal form by chipping away at a block of marble and discarding any unnecessary material. The artist’s idea of “carving” her own body was inspired by an invitation from the Whitney Museum of Art for its biennial survey exhibition, which at the time restricted itself to the established categories of painting and sculpture, though this work was considered too conceptual for the exhibition.

Currently Off View

Contemporary Art

Artist

Eleanor Antin

Title

Carving: A Traditional Sculpture

Origin

United States

Date

1972

Medium

148 gelatin silver prints and text panel

Dimensions

Each photograph: 17.7 x 12.7 cm (7 x 5 in.); Text panel: 39.4 x 26 cm (15 1/2 x 10 1/4 in.); 79.4 X 518.2 cm (31 1/4 x 204 in.), installed

Credit Line

Twentieth-Century Discretionary Fund

Reference Number

1996.44

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 .

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