TV Sculptures by Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz
January 20 – March 25, 2001
For artist Edward Kienholz (1927, Fairview, Washington – 1994, Hope, Idaho), the television set was a powerful cultural icon. Working with found objects, Ed and his wife Nancy fabricated some of the most potent images in contemporary art. Beginning in the 1960s, television sets themselves were incorporated into their work. The TVs were portals of information to the masses as well as standard bearers, leading the way that people judged the values of society. When asked about their meaning in his work, Kienholz replied, “[it] had to do with the effect on culture.” The six works in the exhibition were made from concrete, five-gallon metal gasoline cans (called jerry cans), old furniture, and salvaged TV parts. The sculptures embodied Kienholz’s long and visceral love/hate relationship with American TV. There would usually be a TV playing in his studio, bringing in the worst and best of broadcasting. Five of the TVs were original prototypes for a multiple edition of sculptures produced by Gemini G.E.L., a world-renowned printmaking studio in Los Angeles. Kienholz believed that television was a marvelous tool of communication that had been raided by the corporate networks to supply us with packaged news, contentless programming, and rabid consumerism. The televisions were courtesy of the Boise Art Museum.