Exhibitions/ Art Object

Dull Knife/Sharp Knife

Artist:
William Wegman (American, born 1943)
Date:
1972
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Sheet: 31.5 x 27.5 cm (12 3/8 x 10 13/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, Anonymous Gift, 2011
Accession Number:
2011.314
Rights and Reproduction:
© William Wegman, Courtesy of the Artist
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 851
Many of Wegman’s early photographs examine specific qualities of the medium and its technology—such as the transparency and reversibility of the negative or masking out the background with a vignette—to make broader points about the vagaries of knowledge versus vision, the ideal versus the failed attempt, expectation versus reality. These concerns were often structured in the works via visual puns, homonyms, and word play. In Dull Knife/Sharp Knife, the “selective focus” of camera-eye vision spills over humorously into second and third meanings of the words (for example, the sharpening of a knife and the focusing of perception).
Inscription: Signed and dated in pencil on print, verso BRC: "W Wegman 1972"; inscribed in pencil in another hand, BC "5-M"
[Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, California]

Marc Selwyn Fine Art. "William Wegman: Some Tricks," March 27, 2010–April 24, 2010.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Everyday Epiphanies: Photography and Daily Life Since 1969," June 25, 2013–January 26, 2014.

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