Lee Bontecou (Untitled) (War Machine)

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She made it out of welded steel, canvas, black fabric, rawhide, copper, wire, and soot. In the permanent exhibition at MoMa, Untitled (1961) by Lee Bontecou is warlike and threatening. Philosopher and art critic Arthur Danto compared this and other such works by her to 17th-century scientist Robert Hooke’s Micrographia “at the intersection of magnified insects, battle masks, and armored chariots” (Wiki). Other associations I’ve seen online are with space travel, Sputnik, and black holes. My first thought was that it looked like a broken off part to an outdated but once super powerful engine of some flying machine; like a jet or spaceship. The black center is held strongly in place by the surrounding folds of the tough canvas and other fabrics.

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About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish though and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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