In Memory of My Father

Very large rectangular object depicting green squares with black squares in almost a tiled floor appearance. There is a long white ruler that runs along most of the bottom border.
© Sylvia Plimack Mangold.

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  • Very large rectangular object depicting green squares with black squares in almost a tiled floor appearance. There is a long white ruler that runs along most of the bottom border.

Date:

1976

Artist:

Sylvia Plimack Mangold
American, born 1938

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

Artist

Sylvia Plimack Mangold

Title

In Memory of My Father

Date

1976

Medium

Acrylic on canvas

Dimensions

76.5 × 183 cm (30 × 72 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior gift of Adeline Yates

Reference Number

2009.52

Copyright

© Sylvia Plimack Mangold.

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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