Sturtevant Sturtevant is the first solo exhibition in an Italian public institution devoted to Sturtevant (1924-2014), one of the XX century’s most influential artists. Beginning with its title, in which the artist’s name is repeated twice, the exhibition, has been constructed around the concept and practice of repetition, understood as a collective device in which the uniqueness of the subject is merged with other possible personalities. In this sense Sturtevant is perhaps the twenty-first century’s first real artist. In her repetitions of works by other artists, she pioneered, over the last fifty years – which also saw the affirmation of the post-modern aesthetic and defined the digital revolution – possible ways of overcoming the jurisdiction of copyright, the idea of intellectual property and the supposed uniqueness of the creator subject. In 1964 Sturtevant began to “repeat” the works of some of the most iconic artists who were her contemporaries (from Marcel Duchamp to Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Frank Stella, all the way up to Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley, Robert Gober, Anselm Kiefer and Félix González-Torres, to name only few). In this she was well ahead of her time in exploring concepts such as “authorship” and “originality” in relation to the mechanisms of production, circulation, reception and canonization of contemporary artistic imagery and imagination.
Since the beginning Sturtevant’s works will have been perceived by the art world as violent and unspeakable as are almost all forms of anticipation. They are therefore never copies but so many originals, being thought in action which focuses on a field of experience in art whose essence she comes to analyze, destabilizing its order of representation and designation.