JoAnn Verburg. Secrets: Iraq. 1991

JoAnn Verburg Secrets: Iraq 1991

  • Not on view

This ordinary still life, featuring a cup of coffee and the New York Times newspaper, has been photographed in an unusual way. What might have been a benign, placid picture, reassuring to our sense of the tranquility of domestic life, has been fractured. The photographer has joined two views of the same scene into a diptych that is disorienting even though the space is continuous from one frame to the other. This work is a kind of puzzle that tests viewers' perceptions while drawing them in through the exquisite use of light and a radiant color palette.

A close look reveals the figure of a uniformed soldier on the left side of the first picture and palm trees above him. In the newspaper text, "troops and why it had not . . . the troops earlier?" is readable. In the righthand picture marching soldiers are visible through the glass coffee cup, and part of the word "Baghdad" can be read in the newspaper. This scene of ordinary domestic life has been invaded by the dramatic troubles of a distant war.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, p. 123.
Medium
Chromogenic color prints
Dimensions
Each 29 1/8 x 20 5/8" (74 x 52.4 cm)
Credit
Horace W. Goldsmith Fund through Robert B. Menschel
Object number
274.1993.a-b.x1-x2
Copyright
© 2019 JoAnn Verburg
Department
Photography

Installation views

MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos.

If you notice an error, please contact us at digital@moma.org.

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.