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Adam McEwen

Untitled (Jeff)

2004

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Artist

Adam McEwen (1965-)

Title

Untitled (Jeff)

Date

2004

Medium

Chromogenic print

Dimensions

Sheet: 52 3/4 × 37 in. (134 × 94 cm) Overall: 52 3/4 × 37 × 1/4 in. (134 × 94 × 0.6 cm) Frame: 53 1/16 × 37 5/16 × 1 3/16 in. (134.8 × 94.8 × 3 cm)

Edition information

AP 1/2 | Edition of 3

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Print Committee

Accession number

2006.94.2

Object Label

In this series of faux New York Times-style obituaries, Adam McEwen excavates America’s obsession with the lives—and deaths—of public figures and celebrities. McEwen wrote or commissioned these near-pitch-perfect newspaper obits, which he then formatted on a computer and photocopied, enlarged, scanned, and printed as large-scale black-and-white photographs. The one detail missing from them all, however, is the cause of death. McEwen chose to profile people who are immediately identifiable, so the viewer would know that they are, in fact, not yet dead. This gives the macabre works the uncanny quality of premonition. According to McEwen, his obituaries are “homages to their subjects, all of whom are unable to finally control their (real/fictional) personae as they spin out into the world.”

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