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No object implies the existence of any other



Ian Burn

Australia, United States of America, Australia

29 Dec 1939 – 29 Sep 1993

  • Details

    Media category
    Mixed media painting
    Materials used
    synthetic polymer paint on wood, mirror, lettering
    64.5 x 64.5 x 3.0 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r. verso frame, black marker ".../ IAN BURN...1967". Signed l.r. verso frame, black marker "Ian Burn". Signed u.c. verso frame, pencil "IAN BURN/...".

    Rudy Komon Memorial Fund 1990
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Ian Burn Estate

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Ian Burn

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Ian Burn began investigating the act of looking in the mid 1960s. In this work, text across a standard framed mirror quotes from the 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume. The original quote continues, ‘if we consider these objects in themselves, and never look beyond the ideas which we form of them’.

    The viewer is asked to consider this specific work of art without considering his or her accumulated knowledge and assumptions about either ‘mirrors’ or ‘works of art’ (or the person ‘in’ the mirror). The impossibility of isolating any one thing from all others is emphasised in this conceptual artwork by our reflection in the mirror and that of the space in which it hangs and other art nearby.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Minimalism, National Gallery Singapore, Singapore, 16 Nov 2018–14 Apr 2019

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 5 publications

Other works by Ian Burn

See all 11 works