History as a Planter (1961) by Ed Kienholz

History as a Planter - Ed Kienholz - 1961

Artwork Information

TitleHistory as a Planter
ArtistEd Kienholz
Date1961
Dimensions33 1/4 x 20 1/2 x 14 1/4 in. (84.5 x 52.1 x 36.2 cm)
Current LocationLos Angeles County Museum of Art
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About History as a Planter

Ed Kienholz is a renowned American artist who was a great pioneer of the installation medium. His 1961 artwork, ‘History As A Planter’ has received much appreciation for its fascinating juxtaposition of all the mediums used and its surrealist subject matter. The artwork comprises three different mediums, with objects such as: oven parts, newspapers, plants, cords, and mannequin parts arranged together in an unusual yet coherent way. The components represent Jewish struggles in a very unique manner while the title itself alludes to this difficult past of Jewish people.

The deeper meaning of ‘History As A Planter’ lies in making viewers contemplate about Jewish struggles and the installations as a whole gives an ethereal feel to it. This is amongst one of Ed Kienholz’s oldest and more powerful artworks conveying messages about difficult times which are still relevant in today’s world. Another noteworthy artwork by the artist is Back Seat Dodge ’38 that portrays the hidden horror of Vietnam War in 1964 through installation art, with objects like coins, guns and other war-related items making up its construction.

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