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Contemporary + Modern: Art & Design

Sat, Feb 10, 2024 11:00AM EST
Lot 69

John Gutowski Untitled 1981 Large Format Polaroid

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John W. Gutowski

(American, 1948-2001)

Untitled (Color suite), 1981

Polaroid 20x24

24" x 20" (image), 32 3/4" x 26 3/4" (frame)


An extremely rare photographic format, only five Polaroid 20x24 cameras were ever completed. Gutowski shot using the original prototype of this camera, on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, using his experimental plexiglass constructions. Of his Color suite, created from 1981-83, Gutowski gave the following artist's statement:


"These color pieces deal with the illusion of three-dimensional space by means of manipulating color relationships. I try to make the sudden impact of the color itself work as an attractor which can pull the viewer, grab one's attention, and then reveal a more complex structure within.


"The fact that I photograph constructions which I have made is irrelevant. Ultimate reality exists only in the photograph itself. The artwork should be charged with its very presence. It is not a coincidence that one definition of the term plastic is 'giving or able to give material or sensible form to conceptions of color, shape, tone, or movement arising from the subconscious.' This definition is the nature of my work. When I produce successful pieces, this definition is also the significance of my work."


Literature: John W. Gutowski: Photographic Suites 1979-2001, Steve Paul (editor), University of Missouri-Kansas City Belger Arts Center, 2002.


Very good condition, noting only mild wear to the frame and a thumbprint at the top edge visible only under raking light.

Overall Dimensions
Height: 32.75 in
Width: 26.75 in
Depth: 1.50 in

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From the artist's estate.