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Yang Na

1984-1986 Tony Berlant Born: New York, New York, 1941 sheet metal, wood, steel brads 28 x 28 x 28 in. (71.1 x 71.1 x 71.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Gerald and Kathleen Peters 2008.29 Not currently on view


Luce Center Quote

"Found objects carry all the smell and energy of the moment they were made and the culture they were made in. Yet paradoxically, this makes [the work] even more intimate and autobiographical. That's part of what I think is so mysterious." The artist, quoted in Peter Clothier, "Tony Berlant: Hammering Out Magic," ARTnews (November 1991)

Luce Center Label

In Yang Na, Tony Berlant collaged colorful, geometric pieces of metal and peppered them with steel brads, creating a surface that looks like a quilt. Berlant began making cubes with found metal in 1964 and continues to work with the material, transforming discarded advertising signs, scrap metal, and storage tins into vibrant sculptures. In this work, the artist plays with perspective and spatial relationships. He placed an image of an empty chair in one of the cube’s corners, as if inviting us to sit and ponder the bucolic scene. The title refers to the village of the Gabrielino tribe called Yang Na, which later became the city of Los Angeles. Berlant's work is often influenced by American Indian art and culture, and he is an avid collector of Mimbres pottery and Navajo blankets.

Keywords

Landscape

Object - furniture - chair

sculpture

About Tony Berlant

Born: New York, New York, 1941

More works in the collection by
Tony Berlant