Untitled
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Salcedo’s sculpture implies the presence of an absent body. In works such as this, the artist uses domestic objects, altered so that they no longer function as intended, to confront issues of social injustice and political violence. Suggestive of the chairs used for brutal state interrogations, this work serves as a witness to the lives lost in Colombia’s civil war. Salcedo created wax and paper models in Bogotà, then had the steel parts fabricated in a New York foundry and shipped back to Colombia, where she reconfigured the sculpture in her studio, fastidiously hand carving wood grain into the seat and legs. While one could sit in the chair, its open back and cold surface render it uninviting; one back corner is crumpled, as if someone had used the chair as a weapon. Subtle traces of violence emanate from this common object, indelibly incised on its stainless steel surface.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
2010.573
People
Doris Salcedo, Colombian (Bogota, Colombia born 1958)
Title
Untitled
Classification
Sculpture
Work Type
sculpture
Date
2004-2005
Places
Creation Place: South America, Colombia
Culture
Colombian
Location
Level 1, Room 1120, Modern and Contemporary Art, Contemporary Art: Body/Politic
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Physical Descriptions
Medium
Stainless steel
Technique
Carved
Dimensions
106.7 x 40.6 x 38.1 cm (42 x 16 x 15 in.)
Provenance
Doris Salcedo created, 2005; Alan and Alison Schwartz, Toronto (2005-2010), sold; [through Alexander and Bonin, New York]; to Harvard Art Museums, 2010.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Cowles, by exchange
Copyright
© Doris Salcedo
Accession Year
2010
Object Number
2010.573
Division
Modern and Contemporary Art
Contact
am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu
Publication History

Mary Schneider Enriquez, Doris Salcedo, and Narayan Khandekar, Doris Salcedo: The Materiality of Mourning, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2016), p. 139, ill. (color)

Exhibition History

Portrait/Homage/Embodiment, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis, 11/03/2006 - 06/30/2007

Re-View: European and American Art Since 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 05/03/2011 - 06/01/2013

32Q: 1120 Contemporary Art: Body/Politic, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/01/2014 - 10/13/2016

Doris Salcedo: The Materiality of Mourning, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/04/2016 - 04/09/2017

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu