Elaine Sturtevant (American, 1924–2014) was a Conceptual artist, sometimes referred to as the mother of appropriation art. Born in Ohio, the artist was known for most of her life by her last name. After earning a BA in psychology from the University of Iowa, Sturtevant received an MA from the Teachers College of Columbia University, and later studied at the Art Students League.

Beginning in 1965, she began to manually reproduce paintings and objects by other artists. With her replication of some of the most iconic works of the era by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol, among others, Sturtevant sought to question notions of originality and authorship.

Following negligible critical and commercial success in the 1970s and 1980s, she turned her focus toward the emerging generation of artists, including Robert Gober, Paul McCarthy, and Felix González-Torres, all of whom have since become widely known.

In 2000, Sturtevant began working in video, and evolved a structured exploration of current events through multi-screen works and installations focused on the political implications of cultural images, drawing on stock footage from film, television, and advertising.

In 2010, Sturtevant held an exhibition entitled The Razzle Dazzle of Thinking at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. The artist was awarded The Golden Lion award for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2011. The Moderne Museet in Stockholm and the Kunsthaus in Zurich presented an exhibition of her work between 2012 and 2013. Also in 2013, she was awarded the Kurt Schwitters Prize for Lifetime Achievement by the Sprengel Museum in Germany.

Sturtevant died in Paris at the age of 89.

In 2014, a major show debuted at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, presenting a survey of the artist’s 50-year career.

Exhibitions

2012–2013
Image over Image, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden (17 March–26 August 2012) / Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland (17 November 2012–20 January 2013) (solo)
2009
Danish and Nordic Pavilions, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
2008
Le Consortium, Dijon, France
2008
Vertical Monad, Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London (solo)
2008
Inventing Marcel Duchamp: The Dynamics of Portraiture, Smithsonian Institution, National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC
2008
Exposing Flesh, III CCS BARD, New York
2007
Higher Power, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France (solo)
2006
Cold Fear, Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London (solo)
2006
Sturtevant, Dillinger Running Series, Site Galerie, Düsseldorf (solo)
2006
Whitney Biennial, ‘Day for Night’, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
2006
Wrong, Galerie Klosterfelde, Berlin
2006
MMK Frankfurt
2006
Grand Palais, Paris
2006
Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna
2005
The Brutal Truth, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts (solo)
2005
PUSH AND SHOVE, Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2005
Superstars, Von Warhol Bis Madonna, Kunsthalle, Wien
2004
The Brutal Truth, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (solo)
2004
20 Jahre 20 Years, 1984- 2004, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg
2004
Before the End, Le Consortium/Usine, Dijon
2004
Besides, popularity is a rather lumpy concept, no? (Sturtevant), SITE Magazin + Hausammeer productions, Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf
2004
About Painting, Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs
2003
Dark Threat of Absence, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France (solo)
2003
The Sixties. Lichtenstein, Warhol, Wesselmann, Rosenquist, Galerie Daniel Blau, Munich (solo)
2003
Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna, Austria (solo)
2003
Aftersock, Dickinson Roundell, New York
2003
Das lebendige Museum, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2003
Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, France
2003
University of Sunderland, Sunderland, United Kingdom
2003
Contemporary Art, St. Paul, MN
2003
The DaimlerChrysler Collection, Museum fur Neue Kunst, ZKM, Karlsruhe
2003
Influence, Anxiety and Gratitude, List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA
2003
Site, Düsseldorf, Germany
2003
Frac, Limoges, France
2003
Living with Duchamp, Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY
2003
Re-Produktion 2, Georg Kargi Fine Arts, Vienna
2003
Un Tableau dans le décor, Peintures 1970-2000, Musee du Chateaux des Duncs de Bretagne, Nantes
2002
ShiftingMental Structures, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2002
Sturtevant. Works on Paper 1965/66/69, Galerie Daniel Blau, Munich, Germany (solo)
2002
I Love Arlette, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France (solo)
2002
Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna, Austria
2002
Paris Photo, Paris, France
2002
Pace/Macgill Gallery, New York, NY
2002
Nederlande Foto Institut, Rotterdam, Netherlands
2002
Manifeste oder Egriffifenheir- Was ist das, Galerie Daniel Blau, Munich, Germany
2002
Minimalism and After, Sammlung Daimler Chrysler, Berlin, Germany
2002
Iconoclash, ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany
2002
Min Marilyn, Lijevalchs Konsthall Stockholm, Sweden
2002
Art After Art, Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen, Germany
2002
Private/Corporate: A Dialogue, Haus Huth, Berlin, Germany
2002
Repertoire Ce qu;il te plait 2, MAMCO, Genava
2002
The Private Pary, Vivement 2002!, quatrieme episode, MAMCO, Geneva
2002
Vivement 2002!, ciinquieme 20002, cinquieme episode, MANCO, Geneva
2002
Vivement 2002!, ciinquieme 20002, sixieme episode, MANCO, Geneva
2001
Dillinger Runing Series, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France (solo)
2001
Ca va aller, Galerie Hans Mayer, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2001
Ornament und Abstraktion, Foundation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland
2001
Trade- Warren, Wege und Werte im Welthandel, Winterthur Foto Museum, Winterthur, Germany
2001
Candice Breitz, Claude Closky, Elaine Sturtevant, Martin Walde, Erwin Wurm, Gallery Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna, Austria
2001
Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Vienna
2001
Frac Bretagne, La Bretagne Collectionne, Bretagne, France
2001
La Bretagne collectionne l’at de notre temps, les 20 ans du FRAC Bretagne: Melanges,
2001
Domaine de Kerguehennec, Centre d’art contemporain, Bigan
2001
Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna, Austria
2000
Copy Right/Copy Wrong, Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, France
2000
Les 100 sourires de Mona Lisa, Tokyo, Japan
2000
Copy without Origins: Self as Disappearence, Ecole Regionale des Beaux-Arts de Nantes (solo)
2000
Protest and Survive, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK

Literature

2012
Sturtevant. Image over Image contains numerous images and texts by Daniel Birnbaum, Bruce Hainley, Fredrik Liew, Paul McCarthy, Stéphanie Moisdon, Beatrix Ruf and the artist, produced in cooperation with Moderna Museet, published by JRP|Ringier
2008
Rebecca Geldard, ‘Sturtevant’, Time Out London, 19-25 June
2008
Belinda Bowring, ‘Sturtevant: On Art and Its Time’, ‘Sturtevant in Conversation with Bruce Hainley’, Afterall, 18, Summer
2007
Daniel Baumann, “Sturtevant Reversal”, Spike 13, Autumn
2007
Sturtevant, Elaine. Inherent Vice or Vice Versa, Tate Papers, Autumn
2006
Colin Gleadell, ‘Cash flows for young blood’. The Daily Telegraph , 20 June
2006
Gerhard Mack, ‘Vom Duft der grossen Dekadenz’. ZZM am Sonntag, 18 June
2006
Bruce Hainley, “Stutervant”, Frog, Autumn, pp. 28-31
2006
Herbert, Martin. ‘Sturtevant”, Time Out, 28 June- 5 July
2006
“Sturtevant debuts in London at 75”, The Saatchi Gallery Daily Magazine, June 5, online:http://blogon.saatchi-gallery.co.uk
2005
Michael Lobel, ‘Sturtevant:Appropriation’, Parkett, Issue 75, pp. 148-153
2005
PUSH AND SHOVE, New York: Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York
2005
Orlean Mathieu. ‘Renaissance’. Numero 52, May
2005
Bruce Hainley, 'Sturtevant', Artforum, 30 Jan 2005, pp. 177-178
2004
Tony Benn. ‘Certainly Thinking is a kind of Madness. Interview’, Site 7, pp. 27-33
2004
Fabian Stech, ‘Der Anfang vom Ende. Before the End’. Kunstformum International 170, May- Jun, pp. 340- 342
2004
The Brutal Truth, Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main
2004
Sturtevant, Elaine. The Quixote Incomplete Fragments 1970, Munich: Galerie Daniel Blau
2004
Vahrson, Viola. Die Radikalitat der Wiederholung, Interferenzen und Paradoxien im Werk Elaine Sturtevants, PhD, Diss. Hochshule fur Bildende Kunstw, Braunschweig
2004
Ibid., ‘Zeitlichkeit Interferenzen im Werk Elaine Sturtevants’ Momente im Prozess. Zeitlichkeit kunstlerrischer Produktion, Ed. Karin Gludovatz und Martin Peschken, Berlin: Reimer
2004
Jorg Heiser, ‘Auratisches Toastbrot und Kunst vom Filiessband’. Suddeutsche Zeitung, 23 February
2003
Thomas M Dish, ‘Gallery Going’. The New York Sun, 12 June 2003
2003
Helmut Kronthaler, ‘Aneignung- Sturtevant Ketchup Zitat’. Kunstzeitung, 69, Mai Ibid., ‘Der Verlust des Gleichgewichts’. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 27 April
2003
Ibid., ‘Grunes Ketchup. Elaine Sturtevant mit ‘geklonten’ Werbe-Images im Neuen Berliner Kunstverein’. Berliner Zeitung, 12 March
2003
Buskirk, Martha. The Contingent Objects of Contemporary Art, Cambridge: MIT Press
2003
The Sixties, Lichtenstein, Warhol, Wesselmann, Rosenquist, Galerie Daniel Blau, Munich
2003
The DaimlerChrysler Collection, Museum fur Neue Kunst, ZKM, Karlsruhe
2003
Ishtar, Midway Contemporary Art, St.Paul, Minnesota
2003
Thresors Publics, 20 ans de creation dans les fonds regionaux d’art contemporain, Edition Flammarion: Paris
2003
International 166, Aug-Oct, pp. 359-362
2003
Rachel Harrison, “Sturtevant talks to Bruce Hainley – ‘80s
2003
Then – Interview,” Artforum, March
2003
Jean-Marie Schmitt, ‘Les jurists enquetent sur l’art contemporain’, Le Journal des Arts 170,2-15, May, p.27
2003
Amine Haase, ‘Das Lebendige Museum: Das Geheimnis der Kunst’, Kunstforum
2003
Bruce Hainley, ‘Sturtevant talks to Bruce Hainley’, Artforum International 41, 7, March, pp. 246-247
2002
Kunst nach Kunst. Ed. Peter Friese, Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen
2002
Iconoclash, Jenseits der Bilderkriege in Wissenschaft, Religion und Kunst, ZKM, Karlsruhe
2002
Min Marilyn, Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm
2002
Minimalism and After, Neuerwerbungen, Damier Chrysler Contemporary, Berlin
2002
Private/Corporate, Werke aus der Sammlung Daimler Chrysler und aus der Sammlung
2002
Paul Maenz: Ein Dialog. DaimlerChrrysler Contemporary, Berlin
2002
Shifting Mental Structures, Ed. Alexander Tolnay, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin
2002
Hainley, Bruce and John Waters. Art Works: Sex, London: Thames & Hidson LTD
2002
Ottmann, Klaus. The Genius Decision: The Extraordinary and the Postmodern Condition, (Putnam:Spring Publications, 2004), PhD. Diss. European Graduate School, 2002
2002
Romer, Stefan. Kunstlerische Strategien des Fake: Kritik von Original und Falschung, Cologne: DuMont
2002
Grosenick, Uta (Ed.). Women Artists in the 20th and 21st Century, Cologne: Taschen
2002
Neues Museum Weimar (Ed.) Die Sammlung Paul Maenz, Band III, Zeichnungen, Aquarelle, Collagen und Verwandtes, Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz
2002
Helmut Kronthaler, ‘Aneignung-Sturtevant Ketchup-Zitat’, Kunstzeitung, Nr.69, May
2002
Katchup Grünes, Feuilleton Berliner Zeitung number 60, Mar 12
2002
Ruthe von Ingeborg, ‘Angriff auf die Aura’, Berliner Zeitung Kunst, Mar 8
2002
Katrin Whitneven, “Es grünt so grün, wo tausend dollar blühn,”Der Tagesspiegel
2002
Ingeborg Ruthe, ‘Angriff auf die Aura’, Berliner Zeitung, 8 March
2002
Thomas Wuffen, ‚Der Verlush des Gleichgewichts’, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 24 April
2001
‘Sturtevant’, Style, n. 040, May
2001
‘Freier Wettbewerb’, Tagespielel Berlin, Mar 21
2001
‘Kunst und Markt’, Tagespiegel, Mar 21
2001
‘Fake Sturtevant Proliterris, Zurich, N. 1 – 2001 Original” ZDF. TV emission
2001
Dunja Stacovitz, ‘Sturtevant’, Style 40, May, pp.42-47
2001
Elaine Sturtevant, ‘Fake/Original’, Pro Literris Gazetta (2001), p.98
2001
Trade- Waren, Wege und Werte im Welthandel Heute, Ed. Thomas Seeling, Foto Museum Winterthur, Zurich, Scalo
2001
Sturtevant, Elaine, Copy without Origins: Self as Disappearane, Unpublished essay for exhib. at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris
2001
Ornament und Adstraktion, Ed. Markus Bruderlin and Ernst Beyeler, Fondation Beyeler, Basel
2001
Kerstin Stemmel, ‘Schone Neue Welt’, Neue Zuricher Zeitung, 21 June
2000
La Petite Interlope, Ecole Regionale des Beaux-Arts de Nantes
2000
Copy Right/ Copy Wrong, Ecole Regionale des Beaux-Art de Nantes
2000
Prototest and Survive, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
2000
Frohne, Ursula. ‘Das Meisterwerk und sein Double: Sturtevants Rhetorik der Reprise am Beispiel von Beuys’ La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi’, Jenseits der Grenzen: Franzosische und Deutsche Kunst vom Ancien Regime bis zur Gegenwart, Thomas W.Gaehtgens zum 60, Geburtstag, Vol. 3, Dialog der Avantgarden, Cologne: DuMont, pp.271-288
2000
Bruce Hainley, ‘Best of 2002 (Special Issue).’ Artforum International 41, 4 December, pp. 106-130, 128
2000
Rainer Merzger, ‘Attitude und Modernitat. Aspekte des Kanonischen in der Kunst der letzten Jahrzehnte’, Kunstforum International 162, Nov-Dec, p.126
2000
Bruce Hainley, ‘Erase and Rewind’, Frieze, issue 53, Jun-Aug
2000
Ursula Frohne, ‘Sturtevant Rhetorik der Reprise am Beispiel von Beuys La Revoluzione Siamo
2000
Noi’, Jenseits der Grenzen, Bano III, Dialog der Avantgarden, DuMont, Köln
2000
Romer Stefan, ‘Sturtevant’, Texte zur Kunst. Appropriation Now 12, 46, June, pp. 193-197
2000
Dillinger Running Series, Edition’, Text zur Kunst 10, 40, December, pp.104-105
2000
Hainley, Bruce, ‘Erase and Rewind.’ Frieze 53, Jun-Aug 2000, pp.82-87
2000
Johannes Salzwedel, ‘Damo der Echtheit’. Der Spiegel 45, 6 June, p.249
2000
Pricenthal, Nancy, ‘Apropos of Marcel’, Art in America 88, 1, January, p.112
1999
Sturtevant, 1225 Objects a Casino Luxembourg, Forum d’art Contemporain, Luxembourg
1998
Sturtevant, Int./Ext. Visibilities. Photographies Recentes, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris
1996
Sturtevant, Ecole Regionale des Beaux-Arts du Mans, Le Mans
1995
Sturtevant, Elaine, Powerful Reversals, Unpublished essay for exhib. at Gallerie Hans Mayer, Dusseldorf
1992
Sturtevant, Ed. Tilman Osterworld, Wurttembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart
1991
Sturtevant, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris
1990
Sturtevant, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago
1989
Sturtevant, Art’89 Basel, Galerie Six Friedrich, Munich
1989
Sturtevant, Works from 25 Years, Galerie Paul Maenz, Cologne
1988
Sturtevant, Drawings 1965- 1988, Bess Cutler Gallery, New York
1987
Sturtevant, Stux Gallery, New York
1973
Studies for Warhol’s Marilyns, Beuys’ Actions and Objects, Duchamps’ etc. Including Film, Ed. Judson Rosebush, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York
1971
Reese Palley Gallery, New York
1969–1971
Sturtevant, Studies done for Beuys’ Action Objects and Drawings, New York, Paris, Germany