Sculpture and Installation by Chris Thorson
January 15, 2016
Free for Members/$7 for NonMembers
Socially and environmentally, what do we gloss over as easily as a plastic bag?
Locating Chris Thorson’s sculpture is both a practical and theoretical matter. Her trompe l’oeil substitutions for sweaters, socks, keys, plastic bags, and fruit intentionally evade notice, regard, and identification.
Their placement within the expectation-laden walls of a museum challenges visitors to either reevaluate potential objects of contemplation or exit the space, duped. However, the viewer’s persistence (a second, third, or fourth look) is rewarded with deftly made artworks. Thorson uses a range of materials including cast sterling silver, bronze, hydrocal, organic silk, beeswax, paint, and natural dyes to mimic banal objects with exceptional integrity.
Revelations abound in Thorson’s titles. Anxiety about our dependence on industrial agricultural is latent in Of Wrath (Thompson Seedless I), a series of fruitless grape stems, and also in Boxed In, cardboard boxes filled with casts of fruit. Keys and key chains with qualifiers to the series heading The Stranger like (Luck), (Love), and (Wisdom), hint at the personalities of their owners, as does Bro Palace, an installation of discarded dirty socks. Nice Days, a series of organic silk and beeswax “plastic” bags, reminds us of the detrimental results of consumption.
In this manner, Thorson asks us to acknowledge each object’s symbolic role in our lives. What do our belongings reveal about our habits, our beliefs, and our vices? Ultimately, Thorson’s sculptures posit a gap between perception and material reality, and test the boundaries between what we overlook and what we esteem.