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Manta Ray

A work made of oil on canvas, wood paneling, and potted plant.

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  • A work made of oil on canvas, wood paneling, and potted plant.

Date:

1981

Artist:

William Leavitt
American, born 1941

About this artwork

Since the late 1960s, William Leavitt has produced sculptural tableaux, works on paper, and performances that draw upon and embrace the blurred lines between real and fake that characterizes much of Southern California culture. The artist’s installations evoke a “theater of the ordinary,” quoting strangely familiar locations such as soap-opera sets, furniture showrooms, and suburban interiors. These constructions—always empty and pur- posefully incomplete—summon recognizable spaces but are also evidently artificial. The objects in Manta Ray are like characters in a play, ripe with potential. Leavitt has explained that in these works he is “trying to frame some story through an object or a painting or a situation that would lend itself to further narrative.

Currently Off View

Contemporary Art

Artist

William Leavitt

Title

Manta Ray

Origin

United States

Date

Made 1981

Medium

Oil on canvas, wood paneling, and potted plant

Dimensions

8 × 5 × 2 feet, installed Painting: 30 × 40 in., artist's frame 34 1/4 × 44 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of Stephanie Skestos Gabriele

Reference Number

2015.772a-c

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.

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