New from Robert Therrien: A Flagpole That’s a Sculpture of a Picture

THE DAILY PIC: At Gagosian, a new sculpture by Robert Therrien takes distortions in two dimensions and renders them in three.

Robert Therrien

THE DAILY PIC (#1770): This is a photo of one of the stranger objects in the Robert Therrien show that opened  Thursday at Gagosian gallery in New York, as the L.A. artist’s first Manhattan outing in a decade.

The new sculpture I’m showing is a rendering of a flagpole, but distorted as though seen from above in steep perspective, with its top much bigger than its bottom. Or rather, that’s precisely not what it is—people often make such claims about this kind of distorted sculpture, but in fact “perspective” is a device that only applies to realism practiced in two dimensions. (If a tour guide ever says that a sculpture on a Renaissance façade has been distorted to “correct” its perspective when seen from below, ask for your money back. Ditto if it’s a university professor.) To make a sculpture of a flagpole that looks just like a pole as seen from above … you make a flagpole, and look at it from above.

The reason that Therrien’s piece is so appealingly weird is because it doesn’t in fact follow a coherent system for realism. It’s really a sculpture of a picture of a flagpole that’s seen from above. And that’s a strange thing for anyone to sculpt. (©Robert Therrien. Photography by Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian)

For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.


Article topics
Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.

You are currently logged into this Artnet News Pro account on another device. Please log off from any other devices, and then reload this page continue. To find out if you are eligible for an Artnet News Pro group subscription, please contact [email protected]. Standard subscriptions can be purchased on the subscription page.

Log In