Pat Keck

Genovese Gallery South

Sculptor Pat Keck’s ghoulish yet lovable wood figures draw from childhood fantasies and recall Surrealist visions. Though her meticulously crafted, hand-carved, hand-dressed, and hand-painted “dummies,” with their jointed limbs and masklike faces, resemble fairground puppets, they are more than just carnival toys. White-faced, with accentuated black eyebrows, dark-circled eyes, blood-red lips and wild hairdos, these figures are the stuff of old horror films. The eight sculptures (1987–94) included in Keck’s first one-person show look as if they have been frozen in the act of committing a crime. Self-possessed and grimacing, these wooden figures, ranging in height from 25 inches to 8 feet, were all designed, crafted, and engineered in the small garage studio of Keck’s rural home.

Like Tim Burton’s best film creations, Keck’s characters subvert the conventions of the horror story even as they

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