Sarah Charlesworth


Sarah Charlesworth (1947-2013) was an influential American conceptual artist. Primarily using photography, she is considered a key figure of the Pictures Generation group of artists.  

While working as an artist, Charlesworth also co-founded the art-theory magazine The Fox (in 1975) and the arts magazine BOMB (in 1981). She also taught visual arts for much of her life holding teaching positions at NY, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Harvard.

Charlesworth is best known for her photographic series exploring culture and semiotics through juxtaposing pre-existing images. By interrogating the existing structures and assumptions present in visual language, Charlesworth explores the role image plays in shaping individuals and society. 

"EGO" is an excellent example of Charlesworth's distinctive photography style. The word 'ego' is spelt out using cut-out images of bones. Bones throughout art history have often functioned as symbols of mortality, permanence beyond death, and/or one's Earthly passage. Charlesworth often employed images with easily identifiable symbolic associations which she could exploit and subvert. The collaged bone pieces are set against a background of wood texture.

Charlesworth is a master of marrying art forms and juxtaposing images as shown in this clever merging of text, collage, and photography. 

This editioned work was part of a portfolio created to raise funds for the not-for-profit organization Photographers + Friends United Against AIDS. The portfolio was titled "In a Dream", inspired by Jenny Holzer's cult slogan "In a dream you saw a way to survive and you were full of joy". Also included in the portfolio were editioned works by eleven other artists including Jeff Wall, Thomas Ruff, Jenny Holzer, and Andres Serrano. 

Charlesworth's work has been exhibited and collected by many of the world's most prestigious institutions. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim (NY), MoMA (NY), the Whitney (NY), Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), the Israel Museum (Jerusalem), and the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam). 

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USA, 1991

Cibachrome print

Signed, titled, and numbered in ink

Artist's Studio label on verso

From an edition of 25

24"H 19.5"W (work)

Very good condition

Note: this work is sold unframed

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