Erin Shirreff, A.P. (no. 9), 2014. Archival inkjet print, 34 × 46 inches (86.4 × 116.8 cm). Promised gift of Tristin and Martin Mannion. © Erin Shirreff
Brooklyn-based artist Erin Shirreff examines how memory and photography may affect our perceptions and experiences of viewing art. Using a vocabulary of modernist forms, Shirreff manipulates objects to create temporary assemblages that she photographs. The artist often further manipulates the printed photographs, bending, folding, or breaking apart the images to create novel artistic forms.
In A.P. (no. 9), Shirreff made tabletop-scale compositions that evoke mid-twentieth-century modernist sculptures. For this series, she references the outdoor geometric works of artist Tony Smith and reflects on the different experiences of interacting with Smith’s sculptures in situ and seeing them reproduced in print. A.P. (no. 9) is a photographic image of a maquette made of foam core and plaster. The artist used photo-editing software to slice the picture in half and rearrange the composition. “In a way I don’t think of A.P. works so much as photographs as much as I think of them as pictures of sculptures that don’t exist. They have a strange physicality, they are images of sculptures but then the images themselves have these sculptural components. The pictures are folded down the center to reference this notion of book binding” says Shirreff.
This piece is a unique addition to the ICA/Boston’s permanent collection, which includes numerous photographs, and joins a large sculptural work by Erin Shirreff titled Catalogue, 39 parts (Value Lessons), 2015.