detroit

Rob Pruitt, The Obama Paintings, 2009–17, acrylic on 2,922 canvases (when completed). Installation view, 2015. Photo: Corine Vermeulen.

Rob Pruitt

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)

Rob Pruitt, The Obama Paintings, 2009–17, acrylic on 2,922 canvases (when completed). Installation view, 2015. Photo: Corine Vermeulen.

Painting one portrait of Barack Obama for each day of his tenure as president of the United States—for a total of 2,922 pictures by the time Obama leaves office—Rob Pruitt is making a “monument . . . about the entire presidency.” Each day, Pruitt browses online news sites in search of images of the president, and then, when he has settled on one picture, loosely brushes its contours with white paint onto a ready-made two-foot-square canvas primed with bands of red and blue pigment. The Museum of Contemporary Art hung as many of the paintings as its gallery walls could reasonably accommodate (Pruitt has executed more than two thousand); they abutted one another like Warholian wallpaper, leaving no space between. Leftovers and paintings that were made after the exhibition’s opening were propped against one another in a bank of shelving designed for the installation; one

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the October 2015 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.