January 7, 2011

The Great Rose Transplant. *

Jay DeFeo and her legendary painting The Deathrose/The White Rose/The Rose. 1958-1966. Oil on canvas with wood + mica. 128 7/8 x 92 ¼ x 11 inches.

“On November 9, 1965, workers and a supervisor from Bekins Van and Storage Company work for seven hours to remove the painting from DeFeo’s Fillmore Street studio - a process that DeFeo dubs ‘The Great Rose Transplant.’ The ‘transplant’ entails removing the painting from the wall to which it has been attached for almost six years and cutting away about 2 feet of windowsill and wall before the painting can be removed and lowered by forklift to the waiting Bekins truck below. Bruce Conner shoots 700 feet of 35mm film documenting the painting’s removal from the studio. Within a day, DeFeo and Wally Hedrick vacate the 2322 Fillmore Street (SF, CA) building and separate.”

Photos (scanned) & text excerpted from Jay DeFeo and The Rose Edited by Jane Green and Leah Levy.

Click here to go to the Jay DeFeo online archive at SF MOMA.

Click here to go to the Jay DeFeo Trust.

* The images previously associated with this post have been removed as requested by the copyright holder.


Star Wars Modern said...

I love this story. Even stranger is the story of the heroic efforts made to stabilize the Rose so it could be shown again. The restoration involved engineers, radiologists, special effects experts, boat builders... on and on. The 'painting' is actually mounted to a massive steel structure that is hidden behind a false wall when it is displayed. I have always wanted to see it without the falls fall, as an object in the round.

EJ said...

yes yes yes. And, similarly attracted to Etant donnes / Duchamp. There was a fantastic show (and catalog) at PMA about how Duchamp constructed and planned his final rose.