In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity in Art

Title

In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity in Art

Date

March 30 - April 28, 2012

Creator

Susan Hapgood & Cornelia Lauf (curators)

Description

"Certificates of authenticity are a critical aspect of art works today"

Certificates of authenticity are a critical aspect of art works today. They often even embody the artwork itself, while referring to it, serving as its deed, legal statement, and fiscal invoice. Certificates by artists validate the authorship and originality of the work and they allow the work of art to be positioned in the marketplace as a branded product - no matter how immaterial or transient that product may be. Whereas the inherent importance of any given work of art should be self-evident to the connoisseur’s eye, certificates point the focus elsewhere, and prove that material or aesthetic qualities in an object sometimes do not suffice in constituting the work of art. In our globalized, capitalist present, the certificate and its implications about artistic thinking have become an instrument of business nterprise, as well as a philosophical statement about the nature of an artwork.

Certificates have legal and ontological implications that make them fascinating documents of changing attitudes toward art and the role of artists.

Providing examples of artists’ certificates from the past fifty years, this exhibition will reveal how roles have shifted and developed, as well as how the materials and content of art have changed too. Concise didactic texts will assist the viewer in contextualizing each inclusion in the presentation. Ranging from the most official looking printed documents, with their imprimatur of institutionalization, to dashed-off notations that perform the same definitive function in constituting and defining the parameters of a given art work, this exhibition will interest a broad swath of audiences, ranging from art aficionados to lawyers, students to aesthetes.

Ruben Aubrecht
Judith Barry
Robert Barry/Stefan Brüggemann
Hemali Bhuta and Shreyas Karle
Pierre Bismuth
George Brecht
Marinus Boezem
Daniel Buren
Andre Caderé
Marcel Duchamp
Maria Eichhorn
Urs Fischer
Dan Flavin
Andrea Fraser
Liam Gillick
The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation
Hans Haacke
Edward Kienholz
Yves Klein
Joseph Kosuth
Sol LeWitt
Ken Lum
Piero Manzoni
Gordon Matta-Clark
Josiah McElheny and Allan Kaprow
Jonathan Monk
Robert Morris
Antoni Muntadas
Yoko Ono
Cesare Pietroiusti
Adrian Piper
Emilio Prini
Robert Projansky and Seth Siegelaub
Raqs Media Collective
Robert Rauschenberg
Sharmila Samant
Joe Scanlan
David Shrigley
Daniel Spoerri
Haim Steinbach
Superflex
Rirkrit Tiravanija
Ben Vautier
Lawrence Weiner
Franz West
Cerith Wyn Evans
Carey Young
Andrea Zittel
Heimo Zobernig

See the exhibition catalog for reference: ABR N8600 .I32 2011

Abstract

Introduction
 
Artists' certificates of authenticity have played a crucial role in contemporary art during the past five decades. These certificates, and other administrative documentary forms, gained prominence during the 1960s, when artists in the United States and Europe were experimenting with radically altered production methods and even challenging the very physicality of the art object.  Sometimes, certificates come to stand in for the artwork itself, while referring to it, serving as its deed, legal statement, and fiscal invoice.

In this exhibition, dozens of documents have been digitally scanned, and are presented in facsimile format. They offer a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes workings of many contemporary artists, exposing what is usually protected securely in inventory files, yet what in many cases actually constitutes the work of art. These documents serve at least two crucial functions--they validate the authorship and originality of the work, and they allow the work of art to be positioned in the marketplace as a branded product, no matter how immaterial or transient this product may be. They may also prescribe a set of instructions to be followed in order to make the work, which has been carried out in this presentation in select cases.

Certification, like delegation, is the new frontier—along with the battle on copyright boundaries—in the ever-changing landscape of intellectual property.
 
- Susan Hapgood and Cornelia Lauf

Table Of Contents

Note: All works are reproduced in facsimile format from high-resolution digital images.

 

Ruben Aubrecht

Invoice No. 21 (Rechnung Nr. 21), 2011

Ink on paper, signed, 12.7 x 4.3 cm, (5 x 1 5/8")

Courtesy the artist

 

Judith Barry

Certificate of Authenticity Template, 1991–ongoing

Ink on paper, 21.6 x 28 cm (8 1/2 x 11")

Courtesy the artist

 

Robert Barry/Stefan Brüggemann

Certificate for Shift, 2009

Ink on paper, signed, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Courtesy the artists

 

Hemali Bhuta and Shreyas Karle

Gift Voucher Coupon, 2010

Offset print and pen on paper, signed, 10.2 x 15.2 cm (4 x 6")

Courtesy Sree Goswami, Mumbai

 

Pierre Bismuth

Certificate of Authenticity—Ed Ruscha, 2000

Digital pigment print on archival paper, inscribed, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Courtesy the artist

 

Marinus Boezem

The Lost Volume of the Artist’s Body, 1976

Offset print, stamp, and handwritten ink on paper, 70 x 50 cm (27 1/2 x 19 2/3")

Courtesy the artist

 

George Brecht

Relocation, ca. 1963–64

Printed paper, 8.6 x 9.2 cm (3 3/8 x 3 5/8")

Courtesy Joanne and Jon Hendricks, New York

 

Daniel Buren

Avertissement (Notice), 1968–ongoing

Offset print on paper, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Courtesy the artist

 

André Cadere

Certificate for Barre de bois rond (noir, jaune, rouge) [Round Wood Bar (black, yellow, red)], 1973
Offset print and pen on paper, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Private collection, courtesy Galerie Art Attitude, Nancy

 

Marcel Duchamp

Tzanck Check (detail from Boîte-en-valise [Box in a Valise]), 1919/1938

Printed facsimile, two-color offset lithograph with hand stamped number, 21 x 38.2 cm (8 1/4 x 15")

Courtesy Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, New York, © Succession Marcel Duchamp, 2011, ADAGP, Paris/ARS, New York

 

 

Maria Eichhorn

Erwerb des Grundstückes Ecke Tibusstraße/Breul, Gemarkung Münster, Flur 5, Nr. 672 (Purchase of the Plot at Corner Tibusstrasse/Breul, Münster Province, Hall 5, No. 672), 1997

Inkjet print on paper, 29.7 x 21 cm (8 1/4 x 11 3/4")

Courtesy the artist

 

Urs Fischer

Certificate for Untitled, 2011

Digital certificate, downloaded and printed, inkjet print on paper, 29.7 x 21 cm (8 1/4 x 11 3/4")

Courtesy Urs Fischer LLC, New York

 

Dan Flavin

Certificate for Untitled, 1970

Marker, typewritten and handwritten ink on gridded paper, signed, 27.6 x 21 cm (107/8 x 8 1/4")

Collection Ghislain Mollet-Viéville, Paris

 

Andrea Fraser

Preliminary Prospectus: For General Audience Public or Private Nonprofit Cultural Institutions (excerpt from the Preliminary Prospectuses series), 1993

Two-sided printed document, ink on paper, 27.9 x 21.6 cm (11 x 8 1/2"), folded

Courtesy Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York

 

Liam Gillick

Starkmann Certificate, 1994

Ink on paper, signed, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Courtesy the artist

 

The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation

Correspondence, 2010

Ink on paper, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Courtesy The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, New York

 

Hans Haacke

Agreement of Original Transfer of Work of Art, ca. 1968–ongoing

Digital certificate, downloaded and printed, ink on paper, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Public freehold

 

Edward Kienholz

Documents from The World Tableau, 1964

Offset print and typewritten ink on paper, three pages, 27.9 x 21.6 cm (11 x 8 1/2") each

© Kienholz, courtesy L.A. Louver, Venice, California

 

Yves Klein

Certificates and receipt book for Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility (Zones de Sensibilité Picturale Immatérielle), 1959

Booklet of perforated and printed paper, with inscription, 8.7 x 29.8 cm (3 3/8 x 11 3/4")

Courtesy Yves Klein Archives, Paris

 

Joseph Kosuth

Certificate of ownership for Frammenti di Vitruvio #22 (Fragments of Vitruvius #22), 2001

Ink on paper, inscribed and signed, 21 x 29.7 cm (8 1/4 x 11 3/4")

Private collection

 

Sol LeWitt

Certificate for Wall Drawing #1217, 2006

Offset print, typewritten ink, and inscription on paper, signed, 27.9 x 21.6 cm (11 x 8 1/2")

Courtesy the Estate of Sol LeWitt

 

Ken Lum

Certificate for Melly Shum Hates Her Job, 1990

Ink on paper, signed, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Courtesy the artist

 

Piero Manzoni

Declaration of Authenticity No. 50 (Carte d’authenticité No. 50), 1961

Ink on paper, inscribed and signed, two-sided, 7 x 10.5 cm (2 3/4 x 4 1/8")

Courtesy Joanne and Jon Hendricks, New York

 

Gordon Matta-Clark

Certificate of Authenticity and Ownership, 1976

Offset print and inscription on paper, signed, 21 x 15 cm (8 1/4 x 5 3/4")

Private collection

 

Josiah McElheny and Allan Kaprow Estate

Letter of agreement for Yard, 2009

Ink on paper, signed, two pages, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4") each

Courtesy Josiah McElheny

 

Jonathan Monk

Certificate for Meeting #81, 2001

Ink on paper, signed, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Courtesy the artist

 

Robert Morris

Document [detail], 1963

Typed and notarized statement on paper, signed, 27.9 x 21.6 cm (11 x 8 1/2"), part of larger work that includes sheet of lead mounted in imitation leather mat, 44.8 x 60.4 cm (17 5/8 x 23 3/4")

Gift of Philip Johnson, 516.1970 © 2011, digital image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence

 

Antoni Muntadas

Certificate for Retrat de Pep Suñol (Portrait of Pep Suñol), 2009

Ink on paper, 27.9 x 21.6 cm (11 x 8 1/2")

Courtesy the artist

 

Yoko Ono

Line Pieces I and II, 1964

Printed ink on paper, 14.3 x 13.3 cm (5 5/8 x 5 1/4")

Courtesy the artist

 

Cesare Pietroiusti

Untitled (Transient Possession), 2008

Union beer and ink on Modigliani 200 grams paper, signed, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Courtesy the artist

 

Adrian Piper

Agreement of Original Transfer of Work of Art, 1997–ongoing

Offset print on paper, three pages, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4") each

Courtesy the artist

 

Emilio Prini

Autentica (Authentification), 2010

Digital scan of offset print on paper, 21 x 14.8 cm (8 1/4 x 5 4/5")

Courtesy the artist

 

Robert Projansky and Seth Siegelaub

The Artist’s Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, 1973

Photocopy of offset print on paper, seven pages, 27.9 x 21.6 cm (11 x 81/2") each

Public freehold

 

Raqs Media Collective

Please. Do Not Touch the Work of Art, 2008

Metallic foil embossed on gold card, 20.3 x 20.3 cm (8 x 8")

Courtesy the artists

 

Robert Rauschenberg

This Is a Portrait of Iris Clert if I Say So, 1961

Ink on paper and two paper envelopes, 34.5 x 44 cm (13 5/8 x 17 3/8"), envelopes approximately 11 x 22 cm (4 3/8 x 8 5/8") each

Ahrenberg Collection, Switzerland

 

Sharmila Samant

Certificate for Hand-Picked Rejects, 2003–ongoing

Screenprint on paper bags, signed, 15.6 x 15.6 cm (6 1/8 x 6 1/8")

Courtesy the artist

 

Joe Scanlan

Fair Use, 2010

Offset ink on paper, two pages, 26.7 x 26.7 cm (10 1/2 x 10 1/2") each

Courtesy the artist

 

David Shrigley

Certificate, 1997–ongoing

Offset print on paper, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Courtesy Wolfgang Berkowski, Rome

 

Daniel Spoerri

Certificate of Authenticity, Snare Picture, for So Easily Made No. 13 (Brevet de Garantie, Tableau-Piège, made under license for Jack Youngerman), 1964

Printed ink and inscription on paper, signed, 10 x 13.5 cm (4 x 5 3/8")

Gift of the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection, Detroit, American Friends of the Israel Museum, courtesy The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

 

Haim Steinbach

Certificate of Authenticity, 2009

Ink on paper, signed, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Courtesy Three Star Books, Paris

 

Superflex

Contract, 2011

Ink on paper, signed, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Courtesy the artists

 

Rirkrit Tiravanija

Tirabanongoo Inc. Import/Export, 1995

Offset print and inscription on paper, embossed, 19.9 x 27.9 cm (7 7/8 x 11")

Private collection

 

Ben Vautier

Certificates for Geste (Gesture), 1961

Offset print on paper, 4.5 x 14.3 cm (1 3/4 x 5 1/2"); 6.8 x 5.4 cm (2 5/8 x 2 1/8")

Courtesy the artist

 

Lawrence Weiner

Certificate for Still Water Placed upon the Stream, 1982

Handwritten ink on paper, signed, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Courtesy the artist

 

Franz West

Certificate for Lamp, 2010

Ink on paper, signed, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Private collection

 

Ian Wilson

untitled statement, n.d.

Typewritten ink on paper, signed, 27.9 x 21.6 cm (11 x 8 1/2")

Courtesy David Tomas, Montreal

 

Cerith Wyn Evans

Certificate for With the Advent of Radio Astronomy… (Clear), 2010

Ink on paper, signed, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 3/4 x 8 1/4")

Courtesy the artist

 

Carey Young

Donorcard, 2005

Offset printing on card stock, signed, two-sided, 5.6 x 8.7 cm (23/16 x 3 3/8")

Courtesy the artist

 

Andrea Zittel

Certificate of authenticity for Chamber Pot, 1993

Ink on paper, signed, 29.9 x 21.6 cm (11 x 8 1/2")

Collection Steven Johnson and Walter Sudol, New York

 

Heimo Zobernig

Zertifikat für eine finanzielle Unterstützung um Visionen und Reales in der Kunsthalle Basel zu ermöglichen (Certificate for Financial Support in Order to Realize Visions and Reality at the Kunsthalle Basel), 2002

Ink on paper, 29.7 x 21.7 cm (11 3/4 x 8 5/8")

Courtesy the artist

 

 

OPTIONAL ARTWORKS TO BE FABRICATED ONSITE

 

Sol LeWitt

Wall Drawing #1217, 2006-ongoing

Site-specific wall drawing, dimensions variable

Courtesy the Estate of Sol LeWitt

 

Yoko Ono

LINE PIECE to La Monte Young I, 1964

Drawn and erased line, dimensions variable

Courtesy the artist

 

Raqs Media Collective

Please. Do Not Tough the Work of Art, 2008

Metallic vinyl letters affixed to wall, dimensions variable

Courtesy the artists

 

Lawrence Weiner

Still Water Placed upon the Stream, 1982

Language + the materials referred to, dimensions variable

Courtesy the artist

Files

In Deed_Photo (3).jpg
In Deed_Photo (7).jpg
In Deed_Photo (8).jpg
In Deed_Photo (9).jpg
In Deed_Photo_Yoko Ono (20).jpg

Collection

Citation

Susan Hapgood & Cornelia Lauf (curators), “In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity in Art
,” SAIC Flaxman Library & Special Collection Exhibitions, accessed December 11, 2017, http://flaxman.omeka.net/items/show/79.

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