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.
July 1, 2011:
A major series of five ten-week-long exhibitions of works by emerging Brooklyn artists will be presented at the Brooklyn Museum from September 2011 through September 2012. The project, Raw/Cooked, supported by Bloomberg, will launch on September 16 with an exhibition of the work of Bushwick-based artist Kristof Wickman that will be on view through November 27, 2011. Candidate artists were recommended by an advisory board of leading Brooklyn artists and the five to be shown will be selected by Eugenie Tsai, the John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum. The Museum will offer the selected artists a variety of unconventional spaces that make possible a wide range of art interventions. Artists can create projects that respond to the unique architecture or history of the building and/or its collections.
The members of the advisory board are the artists Ron Gorchov, Michael Joo, Paul Ramírez Jonas, Amy Sillman, and Mickalene Thomas, who have each proposed three promising artists for this unique series at the Museum, from which Dr. Tsai will make the final selection following studio visits to all the candidates. To be considered for this project an artist may not have gallery representation or have participated in a major museum exhibition. The works considered may be in any medium.
“Raw/Cooked represents heightened commitment by the Brooklyn Museum to its long history of nurturing and exhibiting Brooklyn-based artists,” states Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman. “We are extremely grateful to Bloomberg for working with the Museum to conceptualize this program and provide critical support in making possible this groundbreaking project for us and for our community of artists.”
“The artistic community in New York is so rich and diverse. Many talented up-and-coming artists rarely have an opportunity for a major museum show. Raw/Cooked spotlights the burgeoning Brooklyn art scene through a premier platform that will give Brooklyn artists, selected by their peers, increased exposure and recognition,” said Lex Fenwick, CEO, Bloomberg Ventures.
Kristof Wickman, recommended by Paul Ramírez Jonas, is an object maker and a skilled builder and materials manipulator. He makes casts of everyday objects, often intertwining them with the human body in unusual, and sometimes humorous, ways. Wickman will be presenting several of these sculptures along with new works he is creating specially for Raw/Cooked. On recent visits to the Museum, he discussed the possibilities of working with objects in the Museum’s collection. His work will be presented in the Mezzanine Gallery, possibly with additional pieces in the front lobby.
The four additional exhibitions, of artists still to be selected, will be on view November 4, 2011–January 19, 2012; January 27–April 8, 2012; April 13–June 24, 2012; and June 29–September 9, 2012. Raw/Cooked continues the Brooklyn Museum’s long tradition of collecting and presenting work by both up-and-coming and established Brooklyn artists including the presentation of the extended series of Working in Brooklyn exhibitions, and continuing with the major survey exhibition Open House, in 2004, which brought together the work of 200 Brooklyn artists.