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Camille Sojit Pejcha: "A Manhattan Group Show That Examines Artists’ Intersecting Paths"

Sarah Charlesworth, Tabula Rasa, 1981, white on white silkscreen print, 66 1/2 x 92 1/2 in. (168.9 x 235 cm), © The Estate of SarahCharlesworth. Courtesy PaulaCooper Gallery, New York.Photo: Steven Probert

Sarah Charlesworth was a conceptual artist who used photographs to examine society — first by collaging found images and later by creating her own. Her 1981 work “Tabula Rasa,” a white-on-white silk-screen print, reimagines one of the earliest still lifes ever taken. It is the namesake for Paula Cooper Gallery’s group exhibition “Tabula Rasa,” which centers on the relationship between Charlesworth and fellow conceptual artists Douglas Huebler and Joseph Kosuth. The show traces a lineage from Huebler, Charlesworth’s teacher, to her companion and collaborator Kosuth and the numerous artists they went on to influence, including Laurie Simmons, a close friend of Charlesworth’s, and the photographer Deana Lawson, her former student. Situating the three artists’ work alongside that of their mentors, friends, students and contemporaries, “Tabula Rasa” explores the overlapping creative trajectories that unite its 23 participants. “We have to recycle from the people that have created before us,” says the artist Lucy Charlesworth Freeman, whose work is displayed alongside her mother’s and opposite “Tabula Rasa II” (2024), a reinterpretation of the show’s namesake artwork by Charlesworth’s friend Sara VanDerBeek. “And that’s a beautiful, necessary, and unavoidable part of culture.” “Tabula Rasa” is on view at Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, through July 26,

— Camille Sojit Pejcha