Rachel Harrison b. 1966, New York
Wood, polystyrene, cement, acrylic paint, cardboard Campbell's Barbecue Beans box, and framed inkjet print
72 x 22 x 20 inches (182.9 x 55.9 x 50.8 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Purchased with funds contributed by the International Director's Council and Executive Committee members: Ruth Baum, Edythe Broad, Elaine Terner Cooper, Dimitris Daskalopoulos, Harry David, Gail May Engelberg, Shirley Fiterman, Nicki Harris, Dakis Joannou, Linda Macklowe, Peter Norton, Tonino Perna, Elizabeth Richebourg Rea, Mortimer D.A. Sackler, Simonetta Seragnoli, David Teiger, and Elliot K. Wolk, 2003
Rachel Harrison deploys a wide range of influences in her work, combining art-historical and pop-cultural citations with explorations of material, color, and form. Her hybrid sculptures enact a range of dialogues—between handcrafted and commercially produced objects, aesthetic and consumer goods, among others—and engage broader social and political histories of exchange. All in the Family (2012), an upright, top-heavy construction painted deep aubergine, acts as a display mechanism for a bright orange Hoover Vacuum Cleaner. This classic domestic appliance poses as a sculptural artifact or a figure from a retro sitcom, while alluding to Jeff Koons’s seminal 1980s series of encased vacuum cleaners. Blazing Saddles (2003), which takes its name from Mel Brooks’s 1974 satirical Western, features a framed production still from The Fuller Brush Girl (1950) showing Lucille Ball being held in a stickup by two children dressed in cowboy costumes. Above this image sits an empty case of Campbell’s Barbecue Beans, calling to mind Andy Warhol’s soup cans and silkscreened boxes of the early 1960s, as if to say that Pop Art itself may continually be repackaged and resold, much like other exports of mid-century Americana.