Host to more artists than any other place in the country, Brooklyn has become one of the creative capitals of the world. Thousands of artists, from the established to those early in their careers, are making art in Brooklyn every day. While Williamsburg emerged in the late 1980s as the frontier for artists in search of affordable studio space, the years since then have witnessed an efflorescence of artistic activity in many other areas throughout the borough—from Bushwick to Red Hook, from Dumbo to Bedford-Stuyvesant. Hardly any corner of Brooklyn lacks a vibrant creative community.
To celebrate and affirm the primacy of Brooklyn as a center of artistic productivity, the Brooklyn Museum is proud to present Raw/Cooked, a series of five projects by under-the-radar practitioners who work in the borough. The artists were invited to select sites within the Museum in which to present their projects and to consider their work in the context of the Museum's distinctive architecture and historical collections.
The title Raw/Cooked suggests several aspects of the artistic process: the transformation of raw materials that occurs in the act of art-making; the elusive sense of when a work-in-progress is "done" and ready to show; and the recognition of distinctly different aesthetic tastes.
The participants were selected by Eugenie Tsai, the John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art, from a roster of candidates proposed by an advisory committee made up of five distinguished Brooklyn artists: Ron Gorchov, Michael Joo, Paul Ramírez Jonas, Amy Sillman, and Mickalene Thomas. Each committee member was asked to suggest artists who have not yet had a major museum exhibition and do not have gallery representation.
The artists participating in the series are Kristof Wickman, Lan Tuazon, Shura Chernozatonskaya, Heather Hart, and Ulrike Müller.
Raw/Cooked: Kristof Wickman
Kristof Wickman takes the unremarkable objects we encounter in our daily lives and transforms them into mysterious, enigmatic sculptures that can nonetheless seem strangely familiar and, sometimes, humorous. When drawn to a particular item, he makes a mold and casts the object, often combining several molds to create an unlikely new entity.
At the center of the exhibition stands a large untitled installation in which Wickman juxtaposes a group of his sculptures (on a table he made) with four works of art he selected from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection. His collection choices—a small wooden chair, an alabaster vessel shown upside down, a mahogany portrait bust of a young boy, and a bronze sculpture of intertwined figures—reflect the fascination with the human body and its implied presence so evident in his own work.
Kristof Wickman was born in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1981. He received his BFA in 2005 from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and his MFA in 2010 from Hunter College, City University of New York. His studio is in Bushwick.