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Monday, March 11, 2013

Currently Hanging: Ed Wicklander's Piles of Kittens

Posted by on Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Ed Wicklanders Kittens, 2012, five of them: carved English walnut and enamel paint, 3 1/2 by 12 by 9 1/2 inches.
  • Ed Wicklander's Kittens, 2012, five of them: carved English walnut and enamel paint, 3 1/2 by 12 by 9 1/2 inches.

On Saturday afternoon, I caught the tail end of Ed Wicklander's talk at Greg Kucera Gallery. "Back in Chicago, where I went to school, they really get objects," he said, in closing. "When I show there, they appreciate it."

Does Seattle just not get objects? How would we begin to measure that?

Wicklander's show is called More Objects, as if to underscore his point. While his work has never seemed to be fashionable, Kucera has been a steadfast supporter: This is Wicklander's 10th show at the gallery since 1985. He was born in 1952 in Puyallup—land on the edge of a million wood-carvers—and he now lives in Seattle.

I like the challenge that somehow objects are harder to fathom than images. (I have no real read on whether that's truer here in Seattle than anywhere else; my instinct tells me the opposite might actually be true, and that obdurate wood objects might actually make some sense here as opposed to in New York or LA. Then again, maybe Chicago has a specialty in objecthood. Chicagoans?)

Have we met before?
  • Have we met before?
Wicklander is a master of his materials. But he has left his mark most indelibly on his students, artists like Dan Webb. For me, his works are uneven in their interestingness. When I look at his balloons made of steel, I feel like I've seen them before. I glaze over. His kittens? There's nothing else like them. They're hilarious and heartwarming, an almost impossible combination in contemporary art. They know about kitsch and they zoom happily by it traveling on the same road, another near-impossibility. So smart and so dumb at the very same time.

What do you make of Wicklander's world of objects? They're at Kucera through the 30th.

Wasting Time, a turn-crank hourglass (with skulls for sand grains) meets bubble-gum machine meets aquarium meets steampunk. By Ed Wicklander.
  • Wasting Time, a turn-crank hourglass (with skulls for sand grains) meets bubble-gum machine meets aquarium meets steampunk. By Ed Wicklander.

 

Comments (7) RSS

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1
Replicas of that hourglass should be available at Hot Topic.
Posted by jzimbert on March 11, 2013 at 12:04 PM · Report this
Soupytwist 2
Ed Wicklander is my favorite. I love his work - he's not afraid to show his experiments with materials along with his more evolved pieces which I think underscores the creative process.
Posted by Soupytwist http://twitter.com/katherinesmith on March 11, 2013 at 12:10 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 3
i don't get it. cna you guess where i live?
Posted by Max Solomon on March 11, 2013 at 12:47 PM · Report this
yelahneb 4
Hourglasses are not steampunk; they're just old-fashioned, which is not the same thing.
Posted by yelahneb http://www.strangebutharmless.com on March 11, 2013 at 12:57 PM · Report this
thatsnotright 5
The kitties look like something a Black Forest carver hoped Jeff Koontz would like.
Posted by thatsnotright on March 11, 2013 at 11:30 PM · Report this
6
Graves arrives at the tail end of a talk, as she admits herself, and then goes on to write a review based on her interpretation of what she didn't hear. She surely deserves a Pulitzer. Wicklander combines concept and craft and does exquisite work. Look at these installation shots to get a better feel for the show, or better go see it for yourself. It's mature and challenging work.
http://www.gregkucera.com/wicklander.htm
Posted by dj007 on March 12, 2013 at 4:49 AM · Report this
7
Oh man. If you like Ed's students and those wooden kittens- you should check out the life sized bust cast in Old Spice Deodorant at cmd+p on 2nd and Yesler.
Posted by Chicken on March 13, 2013 at 8:17 PM · Report this

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