Skip to content

Jim Sanborn: Plunder

September 20 - October 27

Opening Reception Thursday, September 20 6-8pm

C. Grimaldis Gallery is pleased to present Plunder, a solo exhibition by Jim Sanborn. The exhibition presents a selection of sculptural work that tackles the mythic and subversive.

In Without Provenance: The Making of Contemporary Antiquity, Sanborn offers a rare glimpse into the world of antiquities trade in Cambodia, a country whose cultural sites and heritage are subject to a global market of looted and forged artifacts. Now in its eighth year, the project includes over 20 sandstone replicas of 8th – 13th century Khmer sculpture masterfully produced to be indistinguishable from genuine artifacts. Sanborn posits that these works have their independent value and authenticity as “contemporary antiquities”, capable of affecting positive change in an industry shadowed by illicit and destructive practices. 

A series of relief sculptures made from pulped CIA documents give precedent to the artist’s investigation of the looting of antiquity. Disassembled from a larger work, the stelae allude to ancient artifacts that have been excavated in pieces and sold. Fragmented Arabic and Cyrillic inscriptions describe classified covert operations, connecting the effects of modern censorship and the degradation of a historic record.

Plunder is organized in partnership with the exhibition, Without Provenance: The Making of Contemporary Antiquity, running concurrently at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center.

Jim Sanborn graduated with a double major in art history and sociology from Randolph-Macon College, Ashland in 1969 and received his MFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn in 1971. His work is in the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; MIT, Cambridge, MA; The Central Intelligence Agency, Langley, VA; The National Endowment For The Arts, Washington, D.C.; Kaohsiung Museum Of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; and the Kawasaki International Peace Park, Kawasaki, Japan.


Jim Sanborn
Without Provenance: The Making of Contemporary Antiquity
September 4 – December 16, 2018

Without Provenance Gallery Talk (video)
September 8, 2018

American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center
4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016

Back to Exhibitions List