Crystal Skull


12 cast glass,12 vitrines

Variable dimensions

Twelve identical glass cases elicit the excitement of discovery found in a natural history museum. But don’t expect to find bones inside them: they contain twelve small human skulls made of frosted glass, a gleaming material that recalls a fetishisation of the iconic bone of art history. The reference to vanities par excellence since the Renaissance, the skull represents death and the absurdity of life.

Markedly smaller than the actual human size and exhibited in a glass case, Crystal Skull turns a body part into an object that’s both ornamental and collectible. By repeating it in twelve identical specimens, Sherrie Levine suggests a commercial context in which the skull becomes a profitable luxury product.

Half way between a reference to still lifes and the preciousness of the human skull dear to contemporary art, Crystal Skull by Sherrie Levine belongs to the Pinault Collection. The work was first shown at the “Prima Materia” (“Raw Material”) exhibition at the Punta della Dogana.