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I Hate the Name Kenneth

Ken Aptekar (American, b. 1950)

I Hate the Name Kenneth, 1996

  • Oil on wood with sandblasted glass and bolts
  • 69 x 120 7/8 x 3 in. (175.3 x 307.1 x 7.6 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Purchase: Barbara S. Horowitz, Howard E. Rachofsky, Ruth M. and Stephen Durschlag, Marcia May, J.W. Heller Foundation, Michael L. Rosenberg, Helga and Samuel Feldman, Caroline B. Michahelles and Robert G. Pollock gifts, and Fine Arts Acquisitions Committe, 1997-26a-h

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For the painting I Hate the Name Kenneth, Ken Aptekar appropriates the imagery of several portraits by the 19th-century painter Isidor Kaufmann. Like Kitaj and his reworking of the Uccello painting, Aptekar does not simply copy Kaufmann’s portraits; rather both artists attempt to make the earlier paintings relevant in a contemporary context. To learn more about Aptekar and his work. After examining Aptekar’s work with students, have them compare it with Kitaj’s Eclipse of God. Discuss:

  • How has each artist reworked the earlier material?

  • Aptekar interprets Kaufmann’s portraits in his own way. How does he do this? How does Kitaj interpret Uccello’s work?

  • Why do you think an artist would appropriate an earlier work in this way?