The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

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Important Update

July 10, 2005 to October 10, 2005 |

Emil Lukas: Connection to the Curious

Lukas is interested in the beauty that results from an open-ended exploration of materials and the art-making processes. Engaging the viewer’s curiosity, Lukas champions non-traditional ways of viewing his work, allowing the viewer to engage and interact with the work in multiple ways. This exhibition will feature an indoor installation of a stacked sculpture, titled White Center, made with paper, canvas, wood, plaster, thread, and organic material. Thirty-one double-sided sections are stacked to create the 72-inch high sculpture. In piling the sections one on top of the other, Lukas is shielding the remarkable surfaces and textures unique to each piece, underscoring the inter-relatedness of each of the components. Meant to be flipped through like a book, the sculpture challenges our conventional sense of viewing, forcing us to engage with Lukas’s work more physically to try to understand his process.

Using a boroscope, or “lipstick camera”, Lukas provides the viewer with a peek inside the stack to view the materials that make up his vernacular in the video, Connection to the Curious. Filled with complicated layers of materials such as a dehydrated frog, plaster, and the wells of paint that recur in his work, the video offers a peek at the layers of White Center. The film transforms the sculpture into an architectural space, the wide-angle lens enlarging the scale and giving the viewer the sensation of passing through the work.

In another new work for the exhibition, Drawing Rocks (shown below), Lukas discreetly places a series of stone sculptures throughout the Museum’s property, both inside and outside the Museum. Each of these “rocks” will have a recess filled with castings the artist made from material selected from his vernacular: cement, plaster, plastic, or glass. Visitors are invited to make their own works, by rubbing, piercing, burnishing or embossing the surfaces of the sculptures. Paper will be available to visitors who wish to make rubbings of Lukas’s work.