In honor of the 4th of July holiday, we take a look back at some of the most memorable works of art that contain, sharpen or undermine both the literal image of the Statue of Liberty and what it represents.
Paola Pivi’s assignment for the High Line in New York, You know who I am (2022) shows a large-scale replica of Lady Liberty wearing various emoji-like masks, with each face representing a person whose individual and specific experience of freedom is linked to the United States. The work is inspired by Pivi’s son, who was born in India and lived there stateless before adopting Pivi and her husband, and endured a years-long struggle to gain citizenship and start a new life in America.
Installation of Abigail DeVille light of freedom (2020) is a contemporary take on the ubiquitous symbol of Lady Liberty’s torch. The artist drew inspiration from images of the Black Lives Matter protests that swept the country in 2020, in which protesters linked their arms and raised their hands in expression of solidarity as they marched for equality. The flames of DeVille’s sculpture are made of blue mannequin arms, intertwined and pointing to the sky as one. “Society has tried to separate us or define us by our bodies,” DeVille said in a 2021 interview, but the image and its message of resilience are a symbol of the power of merging “collectively… [to] claim otherwise.”
Paola Pivi, You know who I am (2022)
Paola Pivi, You know who I am (2022). Courtesy of High Line Art.
Albert Oehlen, statue of liberty (1989)
Albert Oehlen, statue of liberty (1989). Courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd. 2016.
fight, We, the people (2014, details)
fight, We, the people (2014). Thanks to the artist and the Public Art Fund.
Renee Kox, Chilling with Liberty(1998)
Renee Kox, Chilling with freedom (1998). Courtesy of the artist, © Renee Cox.
Elmgreen & Dragset, statue of liberty (2018)
Elmgreen & Dragset, statue of liberty(2018) © State Museums in Berlin, National Gallery, 2019 Donation by Heiner Wemhöner, Herford to the Foundation of the Association of Friends of the National Gallery / Mathias Völzke, © Elmgreen & Dragset.
Robert Rauschenberg, statue of liberty (1983)
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Robert Rauschenberg, statue of liberty (1983). Thanks to Sotheby’s.
Eugene Delacroix, July 28, Freedom Leads the People (1830)
Eugene Delacroix, July 28, Freedom Leads the People (1830). Courtesy of the Louvre.
Agnes Denes, Wheatfield—A Confrontation (1982)
Agnes Denes, Wheatfield—A Confrontation (1982), two acres of wheat planted and harvested by the artist at the Battery Park landfill, Manhattan, in the summer of 1982. Commissioned by Public Art Fund. Thanks to the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.
Florine Stettheimer, New York/Freedom (1918-1919)
Florine Stettheimer, New York/Freedom (1918-1919). © Florine Stettheimer Estate. Courtesy of Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Henk Willis Thomas, Freedom
Hank Willis Thomas’ Freedom sculpture in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images.
Andy Warhol, statue of liberty (1986)
The statue of Liberty (1986). Courtesy of Christie’s Images, Ltd.” width=”1024″ height=”1024″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/06/2016_NYR_12156_0005A_000andy_warhol_statue_of_liberty065816-1-1024×1024.jpg 1024w , https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/06/2016_NYR_12156_0005A_000andy_warhol_statue_of_liberty065816-1-300×300.jpg 300w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/06/ 2016_NYR_12156_0005A_000andy_warhol_statue_of_liberty065816-1-150×150.jpg 150w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/06/2016_NYR_12156_0005A_000andy_warhol_statue_of_liberty065816.jpg/newsapp/wartnet.jpg/newsapp/wartnet. news-upload/2022/06/2016_NYR_12156_0005A_000andy_warhol_statue_of_liberty065816-1-2048×2048.jpg 2048w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/06/2016_NYR_12156_0005A_000andy_warhol_statue_of_liberty_warhol_statue_of_ news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/06/2016_NYR_12156_0005A_000andy_warhol_statue_of_liberty065816-1-256×256.jpg 256w, https://news.artnet.com/a pp/news-upload/2022/06/2016_NYR_12156_0005A_000andy_warhol_statue_of_liberty065816-1-434×434.jpg 434w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/06/2016_NYR_12156_0005A_000andy_of_liber-19_statue_en //news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/06/2016_NYR_12156_0005A_000andy_warhol_statue_of_liberty065816-1-96×96.jpg 96w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>
Andy Warhol, The statue of Liberty (1986). Courtesy of Christie’s Images, Ltd.
Abigail DeVille, light of freedom (2020)
Abigail DeVille, light of freedom (2020). Photo: Andy Romer, courtesy of Madison Square Park.
Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, The Statue of Liberty lights up the world (1875)
Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, Presentation drawing by The Statue of Liberty lights up the world (1875). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Steve McQueen, Static (2009)
Steve McQueen, Static (2009). Thanks to Tate.
nari district, Lazarus (2019)
Lazarus† © Nari Ward. Thanks to the Vilcek Foundation.” width=”1024″ height=”824″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/06/Saved_For_Web_VF2021.04.01_A-1024×824.jpg 1024w , https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/06/Saved_For_Web_VF2021.04.01_A-300×241.jpg 300w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/06 /Saved_For_Web_VF2021.04.01_A-1536×1236.jpg 1536w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/06/Saved_For_Web_VF2021.04.01_A-50×40.jpg 50w, https://news.artnet.com /app/news-upload/2022/06/Saved_For_Web_VF2021.04.01_A-1920×1545.jpg 1920w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/06/Saved_For_Web_VF2021.04.01_A.jpg 2000w” sizes =”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>
nari district, Lazarus (2019). © Nari Ward. Courtesy of the Vilcek Foundation.
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