About this artwork
In the late 1960s, Sylvia Plimack Mangold turned to her immediate surroundings as
a source for imagery, making almost photorealistic paintings of interior spaces, including the wood and tile floors of her studio and home. By the 1970s she began to insert meticulous trompe l’oeil elements as well, including metal rulers and masking tape painted along the borders of her images. The artist has explained that the painted rulers measured or marked the physical dimensions of a work’s edge, while the painted floors measured or marked illusionistic space. In Mangold’s words, “The works of this period were like catalogues of these different realities in painting.”
In their constant reappraisal of the relationship between painting and picture, and in their frequent recourse to the grid-like structures of flooring, Mangold’s works can operate like rigorous abstractions, aligned with Minimal and Conceptual practices of the time. Yet they often derive their affect from more subjective, even personal content as well. For instance, the ruler in this painting, which stops on the right edge of the canvas at 66 ¾ inches, serves as an intimate tribute, corresponding to the age of the artist’s father at his death. This is the only work in her oeuvre that offers such an overtly biographical, memorializing reference. The green linoleum floor, which is also exclusive to this work, was inspired by a small section of old flooring the artist discovered in her basement. Here Mangold painted, with her customary precision, an imagined reconstruction as opposed to an observed reality.
Currently Off View
- Contemporary Art
- Sylvia Plimack Mangold
- In Memory of My Father
- Acrylic on canvas
- 76.5 × 183 cm (30 × 72 in.)
- Through prior gift of Adeline Yates
- © Sylvia Plimack Mangold.