Perpetual Motion

  • Beatrice Wood, Perpetual Motion, ca. 1970, glazed earthenware, Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 1970, Radha R. Sloss, Conservator for Beatrice Wood, Gift of George C. Zachary in memory of Devlin Mario Archie, 1994.104

Luce Center Label

Beatrice Wood began to create sculptures like this woman in the early 1970s, calling them “sophisticated primitives.” She intended for these sculptures to appear humorous, and used them to reflect her feelings about society, human behavior, and gender relationships. The woman, presumably a prostitute, happily sits on a chair wearing an oversized hat and a strapless dress that reveals her slip at the bottom. Wood often said that she would make figural sculptures such as Perpetual Motion in order to take a refreshing break from making pots.

Luce Object Quote

“I make naughty figures to laugh and comment on this funny world in which we are caught.” Beatrice Wood, quoted in the exhibition catalogue for Intimate Appeal: The Figurative Art of Beatrice Wood, 1989

Title
Perpetual Motion
Artist
Date
ca. 1970
On View
Dimensions
19 1/4 x 13 1/2 x 14 3/4 in. (49.0 x 34.3 x 37.5 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of George C. Zachary in memory of Devlin Mario Archie

Mediums
Mediums Description
glazed earthenware
Classifications
Keywords
  • Object – furniture – chair
  • Dress – accessory – hat
  • Figure female – full length
Object Number
1994.104
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI