Elaine Sturtevant (American, 1924 - 2014)
Sturtevant (aka Sturtevant) was an American Conceptual artist known for her appropriation of works by her contemporaries. Perhaps her best known of these is her series Warhol Flowers, which she showed only weeks after Andy Warhol debuted them. “My early work was really about how you could create new space through new thinking. It was conceptually based, conceptuality being the development of forward movement,” she once explained. “At that time, repetition for just repetition’s sake became evident, and more people started to seize more images and reuse them.” Born Elaine Frances Horan on August 23, 1924 in Lakewood, OH, she received her BA from the University of Iowa before earning an MA in psychology from the Teachers College of Columbia University. Briefly married to an advertising executive named Ira Sturtevant, the couple divorced but she kept his name. Friends with Warhol, Jasper Johns, and other Pop artists, she drew controversy in the 1960s and 1970s for her appropriation of Claes Oldenburg, who became furious after she recreated one of his sculptures. Many critics panned her work until the mid-1980s, when questions about authenticity and its relationship to history became central to contemporary discourse. Sturtevant died on May 7, 2014 in Paris, France. Later in 2014, the first comprehensive survey exhibition of her work “Sturtevant: Double Trouble” opened at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Today, the artist’s works are held in the collections of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris, among others.