Joe Scanlan

Robbin Lockett Gallery

Joe Scanlan’s hypothetically useful objects suggest inventions conceived to fulfill certain functions around the home, and their construction implies a thrifty economy based on resourcefulness and recycling. For example, Potting Soil, 1990, is made from a mixture of sawdust, which is a construction by-product of Bookshelves, 1990; egg-shells are a by-product of the whites used to form Starter Pots, 1989–91, and coffee grounds, in this self-referential context, must refer to the fuel that keeps the artist working into the night. Similarly, Kitchen Table Dropcloth, 1990, a neatly tailored canvas covering that snaps around one leg of a kitchen table, was invented to catch and collect sawdust and to keep it from drifting into one’s coffee cup—presumably a liability of having a studio in one’s home. In an odd way, this living situation has a lot to do with what this show is about.

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