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Eddie (Sylvie's Brother) in the Desert

A work made of ink and tempera on wood, 20 cutouts on vinyl.

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  • A work made of ink and tempera on wood, 20 cutouts on vinyl.




Öyvind Fahlström
Swedish, born Brazil, 1928-1976

About this artwork

In the early 1960s Öyvind Fahlström began to make what he termed “variable” paintings, in which a figure’s limbs or other discrete shapes were segmented and jointed—and thus movable. The potential mobility of these elements was, for Fahlström, a way of implicating the viewer. In his words, “strategy, manipulation, [and] political psychodrama” are central to art’s content.

Eddie (Sylvie’s Brother) in the Desert is crowded with vivid, active, yet enigmatic imagery—a window shattering, a flag fluttering, a nude woman running, a suited man bounding out of the frame, and cartoonish trails of rushing air. The title references Sylvie Vartan, a French pop singer of the day, and her brother, Eddie, a musician as well, for whom Fahlström imagined a densely populated, disorienting “desert.”


On View, Gallery 297


Contemporary Art


Oyvind Fahlström


Eddie (Sylvie's Brother) in the Desert


Made 1965


Ink and tempera on wood, 20 cutouts on vinyl


76.2 × 76.2 cm (30 × 30 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin E. Hokin

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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