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A.R.T. (in the new world order)

Willie Cole (b. 1955) A.R.T. (in the new world order), 1994 Oil stick on Blackboard 18 × 24 × 1 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum purchase made possible by a gift from E.T. Williams and Auldlyn Higgins Williams 2004.6.19

Expanding on his use of everyday materials, Willie Cole here uses the blackboard to layer associations. In a handwritten scrawl, he creates alternate meanings through short phrases composed of words beginning with the letters A, R, and T. Writing over words with a bright red oil stick while leaving the original word visible, he creates calculated word juxtapositions (removable and religious, Rauschenberg and Rembrandt). The phrases evoke two themes that are often referenced in the artist’s works: the interrogation of an object's role within a society, and the subjectivity of material value.

Artist in Residence 1988–89