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Marisol's wood construction portrays United States president Lyndon B. Johnson holding diminutive portraits of his wife and two daughters in the palm of his hand. The artist rendered their smiling faces on forms shaped after gray house wrens—a reference to Johnson's wife, known as Lady Bird. In contras Marisol’s portrayal of LBJ is biting: he is shown as a blockhead, replete with a grimacing face and protruding ears, nose, and chin. His towering, coffinlike figure seems to evoke the circumstance under which he became president—the assassination of John F. Kennedy—and his controversial role directing the Vietnam War. LBJ was made at the height of Johnson’s unpopularity, about which the president...
Synthetic polymer paint and pencil on wood
203.1 x 70.9 x 62.4 cm
Image © 2019 Marisol
Text © MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York

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The Museum of Modern Art
Permanent collection