Untitled #750 (Bird Wedding Cake)
On View: Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Northeast (Herstory gallery), 4th floor
Petah Coyne’s early work incorporated decaying materials—fish, logs, roots, and hay—into sculptures that plumbed extremes of fantasy and the macabre, interiors and the outdoors, joy and alienation. By 1993, Coyne adapted her materials to ensure her work’s longevity and to draw from her family’s Irish Catholic traditions, as reflected in the artificial flowers and birds, white satin, and up to 150 layers of candle wax in Untitled #750 (Bird Wedding Cake). Seemingly fragile in its creation and hanging display, the work is weighted by its materials and metaphors, which allude to the deceptive fantasies of femininity and marriage seen from the vantage point of white American girlhood.
Wax, wire mesh, steel, metal chain, artificial flowers (silk?), artificial
birds, white fabric (satin?)
overall: 38 x 32 x 32 in., 260 lb. (96.5 x 81.3 x 81.3 cm, 117.9kg) (show scale)
Gift of the Rothfeld Family Collection in memory of Harriet Weill Rothfeld and Designated Purchase Fund
© Petah Coyne, Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York
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Petah Coyne (American, born 1953). Untitled #750 (Bird Wedding Cake), 1993. Wax, wire mesh, steel, metal chain, artificial flowers (silk?), artificial
birds, white fabric (satin?), overall: 38 x 32 x 32 in., 260 lb. (96.5 x 81.3 x 81.3 cm, 117.9kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Rothfeld Family Collection in memory of Harriet Weill Rothfeld and Designated Purchase Fund, 2008.17.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Image courtesy of the donor, CUR.2008.17.2_donor_photograph.jpg)
. Image courtesy of the donor
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