Proposed Sculptural Projects by Stuart Sherman, 1985-1989
Drawn by Thomas Zummer
June 24 - July 19, 2013
To Pretend in the Truest Sense: Working with Stuart Sherman
by Thomas Zummer
. . . there was always a certain theatricality in the works that Stuart Sherman and I did together, not in the sense of anything (overly) dramatic, nor even in terms of the dramaturgical (though there may have been some occasional references) but in the sense of pretense—an engagement in play, whimsy, humor, the phantasmatic. To pretend is to ‘put forward,’ ‘to set forth,’ ‘to propose’ or ‘position.’ It also means to ‘offer for action, consideration, or acceptance; to pretend is also to ‘put oneself forward in some character,’ to ‘make believe’; a pretense is thus something that is ‘feigned.’ Stuart was marvelous in this sort of play, the kind of specular imagination that necessarily precedes the making of . . . an object, an artwork, a text, film, a performance, a play . . . a drawing. The moment of pretense, of imagining something that is not yet, is bound up in the creative act, an action or disposition that has many possible consequences, yet has no necessary terminal boundary, an attitude or state that can go, in a sense, anywhere and everywhere, and that can admit of multiple collusions and ‘partners in crime.’ It was our good fortune to have found each other and to have, over the course of many years, traced the contours of a completely unique and endlessly amusing common ground.
JTT would like to send a special thank you to:
Mark Bradford of The Estate of Stuart Sherman
Marvin Taylor, Lisa Darms, Brent Phillips and Nicholas Martin of The Fales Library of New York University
and Jonathan Berger
for all of their support and generosity.