There is no Northwest style art... yet curatorially many institutions keep trying to program within received stereotypes regarding this non entity. Ursula von Rydingsvard simply does whittling + bare wood better than any regional artist
, accept it and move on. PAM even has a nice one in their collection
and she had a solo show there a few years back. The thing is though an epic amount of hand work goes into her sculpture... she never fetishes the effort or even the material itself. Instead of the effort her work confronts you as a heuristic whole and thus doesn't need a narrative of "monumental labor" or "equisite labor" to prop it up. It is the completeness one encounters, not the tools or even process, which are there but ultimately tertiary to the experiencing the work.
And since we are on the subject of not romanticizing the artist's hand and struggle here are some images of Donald Judd's Spring Street
home and studio... set to open in June as a public museum. One will note that though it is unquestionably a monument to Judd it also features several other artists quite prominently. Many will be shocked to learn that at one point it looked like Spring Street was to be sold off to settle Judd's estate debts. Those behind saving the building as a cultural time capsule should all take a bow... NYC needs artists who are bigger than gallerists, collectors and museums.
Last but not least, Mike Kelley's final project
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