Monday, September 20, 2010

Does lyricism sell?

(Installation view of Edefalk's work at Gladstone)

On view now at Barbara Gladstone is an installation by Cecilia Edefalk of tree barks standing like figures on a table. I have a very soft spot for work with trees, even though most are a flop, succumbing to generic poetry. This one did in the end for me because of the exhibition title “Weeping Birch” and then because I heard an employee describing the piece (to a collector) as the result of a “profound” experience the artist had on an island during a storm. The combination of the words “Weeping” and “profound” was just altogether too self-important. The employee then pointed to a group of three or four barks on the table, and said they were $35k (or was it $40k?).

Personally, if I had the dough, I’d prefer to buy Kippenberger’s 1990 installation combining birch trees and pills titled “Now I’m going into the big birch wood, my pills will soon start doing me good.” I don’t need anyone to tell me it’s profound, it just is by virtue of what's there.

1 comment:

Sharon Lamana said...

I know what you mean. Without instruction, I would be profoundly sad to the point of weeping if my pills didn't kick in.