Ken Aptekar, ‘Preferred or common? Blue-chip or junk?’, 2009, Wasserman Projects
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Ken Aptekar

Preferred or common? Blue-chip or junk?, 2009

Oil on wood, sand blasted glass, bolts
60 × 30 × 3 1/2 in
152.4 × 76.2 × 8.9 cm
This is a unique work.
$30,000
Location
Detroit
Have a question? Visit our help center.
About the work
Exhibition history
Wasserman Projects
Detroit

Aptekar uses the history of art, primarily classical painting, as his lexicon to bring the past …

Medium
Painting
Ken Aptekar
American, b. 1950
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Ken Aptekar recreates historical paintings and overlays them with his own tongue-in-cheek texts. This masterful yet utilitarian appropriation of seminal paintings from the canon—by artists like Milton Avery, Jean-Antoine Watteau, and Ed Ruscha—comes from a desire to “drag the past into the present” and reflects his view that “it is our pleasure and responsibility to create their meaning.” He applies his words to sandblasted glass that he bolts onto the recreations, often superimposing texts that humorously challenge or subvert the intent of the original painting, as in Not Really (Ruscha) (2011), which counteracts Ruscha’s starry proclamation in Yes (1987) with a perfunctory “Not Really”. “Paintings are nothing on their own; they start meaning something only when you start talking back to them,” he says.

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Ken Aptekar, ‘Preferred or common? Blue-chip or junk?’, 2009, Wasserman Projects
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Save
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Share
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About the work
Exhibition history
Wasserman Projects
Detroit

Aptekar uses the history of art, primarily classical painting, as his lexicon to bring the past into the present, and activating painting to create a dialogue with contemporary viewers. He often references historic paintings and pairs them with text etched boldly in glass, floating over the surface of the panel. …

Medium
Painting
Ken Aptekar
American, b. 1950
Follow

Ken Aptekar recreates historical paintings and overlays them with his own tongue-in-cheek texts. This masterful yet utilitarian appropriation of seminal paintings from the canon—by artists like Milton Avery, Jean-Antoine Watteau, and Ed Ruscha—comes from a desire to “drag the past into the present” and reflects his view that “it is our pleasure and responsibility to create their meaning.” He applies his words to sandblasted glass that he bolts onto the recreations, often superimposing texts that humorously challenge or subvert the intent of the original painting, as in Not Really (Ruscha) (2011), which counteracts Ruscha’s starry proclamation in Yes (1987) with a perfunctory “Not Really”. “Paintings are nothing on their own; they start meaning something only when you start talking back to them,” he says.

Ken Aptekar

Preferred or common? Blue-chip or junk?, 2009

Oil on wood, sand blasted glass, bolts
60 × 30 × 3 1/2 in
152.4 × 76.2 × 8.9 cm
This is a unique work.
$30,000
Location
Detroit
Have a question? Visit our help center.
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