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Mike Bidlo (American, b.1953)
LOT ID: 80149
Not Pollock (Blue Poles), 1983

Acrylic, Enamel, on masonite
12 х 12 in. (30.48 x 30.48 cm.)
Unsigned, Essay by Robert Costa on verso
Lot description
Referencing the purchase of "Blue Poles" by the Austrialian National Gallery in 1973, who paid what was considered to be a scandalous amount at the time, and spurred by a recent acquisition of a million dollar Pollock by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bidlo made a Pollock for the people. In a performance in front of the Metropolitan Museum in 1983, Mike Bidlo re-created Pollock's "Blue Poles" on assembled 12 x 12 inch sections of Masonite. This is a section of that final conceptual work, an important and rare performative object as well as a beautiful painting by Bidlo. A xeroxed essay by Robert Costa is mounted on the back.

In the early 80s, Mike Bidlo began to appropriate the modern masters by focusing on the paintings of Jackson Pollock. It is this early series of Pollock paintings that remain the most significant and collectible of all his works. Bidlo immersed himself completely in the personage of Pollock, befriending Ruth Kligman, who was in the car with Pollock when he died, and devoted himself to researching and exploring every aspect of Pollock’s life.

“Mike Bidlo actually adopts the persona of master artists—lives like them, paints like them, takes on their appearances—in an attempt to involve himself as directly as possible in the myth of “being a master artist.” —Morris, Sarah. “The Charade of Mastery”, Whitney Museum of American Art, 1990.

The artist continued his exploration of Pollock’s personal life through his performance and installation titled 'Jack the Dripper at Peg’s Place' at P.S.1 in New York. He hired a Pollock ‘look-alike’ to re-enact the drunken Pollock urinating in Peggy Guggenheim’s fireplace during a cocktail party at her apartment. East Village artists and luminaries played the roles of Guggenheim and her astonished guests. Since that time, Bidlo has continued to appropriate the most famous paintings and sculptures by 20th century masters including Léger, Warhol, Duchamp, Picasso and Man Ray to name only a few.
Mike Bidlo is represented by Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich.
Not Pollock (Blue Poles) by Mike Bidlo
  • Not Pollock (Blue Poles) by Mike Bidlo
  • Not Pollock (Blue Poles) by Mike Bidlo
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