Budweiser (Box)

Thomas Pfannerstill

American, born 1951

Budweiser (Box), 1995

  • On View

Acrylic on wood

Dimensions: 16 1/4 × 15 1/4 × 1 in. (41.3 × 38.7 × 2.5 cm)

Gift of the Friends of Modern Art, 1998.4

If it is true that artists mirror their own time, then the Pop artists of the sixties were extremely successful in capturing the consumer/advertising culture of the late 20th century. Thomas Pfannerstill adds his own twist to the notion of contemporary "throwaway" containers made popular by Andy Warhol and his Brillo Boxes with his highly realistic carved and painted copy of a smashed Budweiser box.Pfannerstill plays with the age-old idea of tromp-l'oeil ("fool the eye") in which a work of art is created so true to form that the viewer is challenged to differentiate reality from its replication. Committed to fully capturing the essence of the object, Pfannerstill extends his notion of realism to recording where and when he found the object on the back of the sculpture. Like Jasper Johns and his painted targets of the late 1950s, Pfannerstill forces the viewer to entertain questions of reality in which he blurs the distinction between an object and its depiction.

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