There was a real Sturtevant in the Kunsthalle Bremen (@kunsthalle.bremen)! I couldn’t believe my luck! Three of them even!
Elaine Sturtevant (or simply just “Sturtevant”) was an American artist who became known for carefully INaccurately copying other artists’ work. She began this in the mid-sixties by – starting only from memory – reproducing work by her contemporaries, like Warhol, Oldenburg and Lichtenstein. Warhol even gave Sturtevant the silkscreen for (re)producing the “Warhol flowers” in 1994, which can be seen in the second photo.
Warhol was also famously quoted “I don’t know, ask Elaine” 🤷♂️ when he was asked about his own techniques. But not all artist who were copied by Sturtevant were happy with her proces. Claes Oldenburg, for example, was publicly upset with her m.o. in the end, which had been laughed at and appreciated in its earlier days.
Funnily almost all of the artists she chose to copy are today considered iconic for their time. Not only makes that Sturtevant a visionary art-critic and “collector”, it also gives her a rightful place in the “Icons” exhibition.
In the Netherlands you can view her work (that I know of) in the Stedelijk Museum (@stedelijkmuseum), where the original Martial Raysse is on display next to Sturtevants copy. I posted that work in November of 2018 if you want to scroll back that far.
1 – “Lichtenstein Girl with Hair Ribbon” (1966/67)
2 – “Triptych Marilyn” (2004)
3 – “Warhol Flowers” (1994)