Saturday, February 13, 2010

Trophy Hunter

Nevada Museum of Art
160 West Liberty Street

February 20 - May 9
Hawkins Contemporary Gallery

Bryan Christiansen Trophy Hunter

"Bryan Christiansen's life-sized contemporary sculptures challenge conventional notions about rural life, home, the rituals of the hunting tradition, and the innocence of childhood. Using discarded household furniture that he finds in neglected urban areas, Christiansen crafts assemblages that stand in for the trophies, antler mounts, and pelts so often prized by hunters.

Raised in a small log cabin in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Christiansen experienced all the requisite activities of a rural childhood: absorbing nature, communing with wildlife, and learning to hunt. But at the same time, he also grappled with the complicated and tumultuous happenings of his family's domestic life. When Christiansen arrived as a student at the University of Nevada, Reno, he turned to art as a way of wrestling with the conflicting realities of his past.

Christiansen's sculptures recall the work of 1950s assemblage artists Bruce Conner and Ed Kienholz, who used gritty discarded objects to probe such issues as the passage of time, death, and decay. Unlike the work of these artists, however, Christiansen's reconstructions are exquisitely crafted, featuring exposed hand-stitchery and floral fabrics that have more to do with making sense of life than they do with dwelling on death. As trophies, they represent Christiansen's own triumph of the present over the past and his strength to confront some of life's most challenging contradictions."


Bryan was featured in two recent CCAI exhibitions, "Recycled Seconds" and "Grad Night." CCAI extends congratulations and best wishes to Bryan and the Museum. He is also a member of "TEAM AIE," CCAI's Artist In Education program.

[Text and graphics from Museum press release. Captions: "Bryan Christiansen, Stag, 2009. Wood, metal, and foam from dismantled furniture. Courtesy of the artist; Bryan Christiansen, La-Z- Boy, 2008. Leather upholstery from discarded furniture. Courtesy of the artist." Click on images to enlarge.]

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