cincinnati

Joel Otterson

Michael Solway Gallery

Joel Otterson’s recent show opened with a real garage door whose redwood panels and metal hardware had been entirely covered with a pressure-sealed, digitized color photograph (made in collaboration with Tom Allison) depicting his lush garden in Kentucky. With this oddly paradoxical door, which was at once solid and penetrable, utilitarian and visionary, the artist informed us that he’s getting out of the house and back to nature—moving from funky furniture extravaganzas to works that achieve a kind of horticultural expressionism. The Garden Door, 1996, set the stage for this transition, door and photograph fusing to suggest a narrative.

There has always been a virile domesticity to Otterson’s sculpture, which until now has consisted of reinvented household objects. Beds, vanities, coffee tables, refrigerators, and jukeboxes are fabricated from a variety of discarded materials: copper

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the December 1997 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.