Collection in Focus: Still Life
JJ PEET’s INTO (2013) belongs to a body of work that the artist calls “Stilifes,” a reference to the artistic—and often allegorical—category of the still life. INTO contains in its various parts the elements that tell the story of an image: a photographic reproduction cut from the front page of the New York Post, in which a motorcycle drags a body behind its rear wheel. Riders raise their arms both in celebration and, cameras in hand, to document the gruesome moment. Meditating on the making of violent images delivered in our daily news, PEET displays alongside this photo the objects he imagines were necessary for its creation, giving form to the relationships within a vicious trajectory.
The artists presented in this selection from the Rose Art Museum’s collection—Sarah Charlesworth, JJ PEET, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol—question the role of images circulated within the public sphere. Directly incorporating representations of crisis and trauma from the printed media, these artists work to understand the circumstances by which these images were made, their ineffectiveness as authentic documents, and the connections that they invite between those who are pictured and those who exist outside of the frame.
Co-curated by Kim Conaty, Curator, and Caitlin Julia Rubin, Assistant Curator.