May 12 - June 2, 2017
This installation is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1901 essay The Art and Craft of the Machine. In this essay, Wright states that artists should welcome new technology, which, by its “wonderful cutting, shaping, smoothing, and repetitive capacity, has made it possible. . .that the poor as well as the rich may enjoy to-day beautiful surface treatments of clean strong forms.” He also discusses how architecture was once the “universal writing of humanity” until it was dethroned by the invention of printing. Wright further exhorts artists to adopt the newest technologies in the service of art.
Incisive references these ideas through use of a computer driven laser cutter—the contemporary version of Gutenberg’s printing press—to engrave quotes from the essay into oak. The oak and copper used in this installation were two materials often utilized by Wright.
The wood for this installation comes from cabinets, shelving and stair treads salvaged from existing suburban homes undergoing renovation. Many of Frank Lloyd Wright ‘s most famous buildings are private homes, and he was deeply engaged with ideas of accessible, beautiful domestic architecture. Traces of his design ideas can be found in homes throughout America.
This installation references Frank Lloyd Wright’s ideas about the natural beauty of materials, the importance of artists embracing new technologies, and the democratic spread of his architectural ideas.
Rebecca Keller is a Fulbright Artist/Scholar, an American Association of Museums International Fellow, recipient of grants from National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, and the College Art Association. A book about her projects: “Excavating History”, was published by Stepsister Press. She has exhibited her work widely, including exhibitions at the MCA/Chicago; Chesterwood (MA); Portland Art Museum (OR); Hull House (Chicago); WaldKunst Biennial (Germany); Galerie IMZ (Germany); Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago); Tartu Art Museum (Estonia), and others. Keller is also a creative writer. She has published fiction in New Fairy Tales, Calyx, Public Historian, Alimentum, Great Lakes Review and other journals. Her work has been included in the anthologies “Crossing Lines” from MainStreet Rag Press, and “Empty Nests” from Kentucky Stories. Writing awards include the Jakobson Award from the Wesleyan Writer’s Conference, two Pushcart nominations, the Betty Gabehart prize, and a finalist for the 2013 Chicago Literary Guild Prose Award.