Prendergast’s "Lost"

In honor of the upcoming season finale for LOST, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight a work of art that shares the same title as the TV series.  Kathy Prendergast’s Lost (1999) is a digital print that depicts a map of the United States.  The map points out all of the actual towns in the United States that contain the word “lost.”  Every other city and place in the country has been excluded from this map, as you can see from a detail below:

Curator Mel Watkin pointed out that this interesting omission of every mappable location (and consequent focus on “lost” places) implies some interesting questions: “Are we lost?  Are they lost?  Or is [Prendergast]?”1

So, could we relate Prendergast’s map to the TV show?  My only thought is that this map visually asserts why LOST has been such a popular show in the US – apparently we’re obsessed with the idea of being lost, since so many places are named accordingly.  If you can think of other relationships between Prendergast and the TV show, feel free to post them in the comments section.  I’ll crown the person with the wittiest answer (and accurate prediction for the finale) as the winner.

1 Mel Watkin, Terra Incognita: Contemporary Artists’ Maps and Other Visual Organizing Systems (Saint Louis: Contemporary Art Museum, 2001), n. p. An exhibition brochure.

  • e says:

    Ah, LOST! So, I don't have ABC so I haven't been able to watch LOST on TV. Yes, I could watch it online, but I came up with a plan to wait until the season ended so that I could watch the whole last season in one sitting without interruption. I'm so worried because I don't know how it is going to be wrapped up!

    I love that you did a post related to LOST. How cool that there is such a piece of art? I also agree with you — I think that we have an obsession with being lost, for extreme adventures, for big crashes, etc. I'm sure that's why it has been so successful. Anyway, I can't give a prediction since I don't know what's going on, but as soon as I watch it all, we'll have to talk.

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This blog focuses on making Western art history accessible and interesting to all types of audiences: art historians, students, and anyone else who is curious about art. Alberti’s Window is maintained by Monica Bowen, an art historian and professor.