Artwork Detail

Untitled (Reaper Drone)
American, b. 1974
48 x 60 "
University purchase, Bixby Fund, 2012
WU 2012.0001
Trevor Paglen
Trained as an artist and as a geographer, Trevor Paglen creates photographs that blur the lines between science, art, and journalism, often focused on that which cannot be seen, such as hidden or secret military sites. In Untitled (Reaper Drone), he captured a dramatic section of the Nevada sky in the early hours of the morning using a telephoto lens. The tiny black speck in the lower right corner of the golden, cloud-filled sky is a Reaper drone, an unmanned aircraft operated by military personnel, out of a remote base in Nevada. While the artist’s attention to atmospheric qualities evokes both nineteenth-century Romantic landscape painting and modernist abstraction, overtly connecting with earlier artistic investigations into the concept of landscape, his work also draws meaningful parallels between modernist abstraction and the increasingly abstract state of contemporary warfare. [Permanent collection label, 2013]