Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy - Untitled

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Mel Kendrick , b. Jul 28, 1949


7 5/8 in. x 4 in. (19.37 cm x 10.16 cm)

Medium and Support: Painted wood on metal base
Credit Line: gift of the artist (PA 1967), Addison Art Drive
Accession Number: 1991.16


Artist Mel Kendrick, Phillips Academy class of 1967, came of age at the heyday of Minimalism. By the 1980s he was moving away from his grid pieces to create more intuitive freestanding sculptures in which he allowed his material, most often wood, to dictate the form the final piece would take. In small sculptures he cut fragments into irregular shapes, combining them into zigzagging, three-dimensional structures. Often, in defiance of the woodcrafters’ insistence of the sanctity of the material, he applied paint to the surfaces to confound and contrast the component parts. As his work has evolved and grown in recent years, he has sought out hulking tree chunks, which he has hollowed out and reassembled into tottering towers of positive and negative parts. He has cast tree sections in rubber adding spindly metal legs that give them a humanoid character.

The Addison is fortunate to own five Kendrick’s sculptures as well as five large-scale woodcuts, acquired both through gift and purchase. Among them is the spidery, painted wall sculpture, Beyond the Cross, which arcs out off the wall in swirling, interwoven lines. White Wall and Untitled exemplify the artist’s inventive combinations of cut and hewn wood, painted and bare, rearranged into tight three-dimensional compositions.

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