• Not on view

Marisol's wood construction portrays United States president Lyndon B. Johnson holding small portraits of his wife and two daughters in the palm of his hand. The artist rendered their smiling faces on forms shaped after gray house wrens—a reference to Johnson's wife, known as Lady Bird. In contrast, Marisol’s portrayal of LBJ is biting: he is shown as a blockhead, replete with a grimacing face and protruding ears, nose, and chin. His towering, coffinlike figure seems to evoke the circumstance under which he became president—the assassination of John F. Kennedy—and his controversial role directing the Vietnam War. LBJ was made at the height of Johnson’s unpopularity, about which the president said, "I am a dominating personality, and when I get things done I don’t always please all the people."

Gallery label from 2008.
Acrylic and pencil on wood
6' 8" x 27 7/8" x 24 5/8" (203.1 x 70.9 x 62.4 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lester Avnet
Object number
© 2023 Marisol
Painting and Sculpture

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