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The Value of Pictures

Modern and Contemporary Art

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The Value of Pictures

Artwork Details


Jonathan Lasker
American, born 1948




Oil on canvas

Accession #



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Currently Not on View


In an exploration of the style and clichés of abstract art, Jonathan Lasker dissects the calligraphic brushstrokes of Abstract Expressionist paintings of the 1940s and 1950s, as in this ironic caricature. Here Lasker manipulates the formal elements of abstract painting: figure, ground, pictorial space, and flatness. His brushwork is deliberately contrived, as if to question the authenticity and originality of abstraction in an image-savvy world. The work’s title is a comment on the role images play in today’s media saturated culture, and on the monetary value and cultural significance of artworks.


Purchase with funds from Alfred Austell Thornton in memory of Leila Austell Thornton and Albert Edward Thornton, Sr., and Sarah Miller Venable and William Hoyt Venable

Image Copyright

© Jonathan Lasker