Isa Genzken Rot-gelb-schwarzes Doppelellipsoid 'Zwilling' (Red-Yellow-Black Double Ellipsoid "Twin") 1982

  • MoMA, Floor 2, 203

Made between 1976 and 1982, Genzken’s Ellipsoids are hand-painted monumental wooden floor sculptures that touch the floor at only one point. Appearing to hover above the surface, these works express the artist’s lifelong interest in precision engineering. Genzken based the sculptures’ design on geometrical calculations of an ellipse (an elongated circle), for which she enlisted the help of a computer programmer. Her embrace of computer technology is at odds with the Ellipsoids’ handmade qualities. When the works first debuted, critics and other artists compared them to crafted objects like knitting needles, a seemingly gendered interpretation that led the artist to describe them as “weapons.”

Gallery label from 2023
Lacquer on wood, two parts
4 5/16 x 5 1/2 x 237" (11 x 14 x 602 cm) and 5 1/8 x 8 1/16 x 259 13/16" (13 x 20.5 x 660 cm)
Acquired through the generosity of Mme Alberto Giacometti (by exchange)
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

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