An image of No object implies the existence of any other

Ian Burn

(Australia, United States of America 29 Dec 1939 – 29 Sep 1993)

No object implies the existence of any other

Not on display
Further information

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.

Mixed media painting
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
Accession number
© Reproduced with permission