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Edward Kienholz, The Cement Store #1 (under 5,000 Pop), 1967, engraved brass on walnut, paper in walnut frame, glass, 22 5/8 x 11 3/4".

Edward and Nancy Kienholz

Pace | 32 East 57th Street

Edward Kienholz, The Cement Store #1 (under 5,000 Pop), 1967, engraved brass on walnut, paper in walnut frame, glass, 22 5/8 x 11 3/4".

Dense fusions of memory and imagination, Edward Kienholz’s constructions and installations of the late 1950s and ’60s introduced a pungent scent of Americana to the art of the time. In the funky surrealism that they found in commonplace objects, the works shared something with the contemporaneous Combines of Robert Rauschenberg, but showed less of the high-art awareness that Rauschenberg had absorbed from Abstract Expressionism and Black Mountain, and were more deeply embedded in the vernacular American scene that Kienholz knew. The artist as Kienholz reconstructed the role was a close observer of that scene, and responded to it with pointed moral messages phrased through the skills not of the painter but of the mechanic, the carpenter, the interior decorator. These trades as Kienholz applied them were compatible with sweeping ambition.

This exhibition showed Kienholz at both his

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