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Shoreline Repast, 2017
double-sided aluminum, paint, steel, recycled wood, hardware
72 x 78 x 4 inches
6 x 6 ½ x 1/3 feet
Commissioned for Sculpture Milwaukee 2017
Milwaukee-based artist Paul Druecke explores the various forms of public inscription that exist in our landscape. From faux National Park service historical markers to poetry-infused welcome mats, his experiments replace “official” language, that fix value and identity, with alternative narratives and cultural structures that allow us to consider how our world is shaped.
Druecke’s Shoreline Repast, commissioned for the inaugural Sculpture Milwaukee 2017, borrows the visual form of a public, commemorative plaque to celebrate Lake Michigan, the most important site of Milwaukee’s public rituals. The plaque appears to sink into the ground. The shift in orientation, which reconfigures the plaque's perpendicular, upright relation to the earth, magnifies the symbiotic, conditional nature of landmarks and the culture that erects them. Each side has a different style of language, showing the difference between our public and private worlds.
painted epoxy resin, fiberglass and urethane foam on welded stainless steel armature
84 x 108 x 120 inches
7 x 9 x 10 feet
Paula Crown has an active studio practice of drawing, painting, video and sculpture, using high tech tools and ancient techniques while committing to sustainability. Her practice is also rooted in social activism.
For several years Crown has created work to bring the growing environmental crisis caused by single-use plastic to our attention.
The image Crown uses is the ubiquitous red plastic SOLO cup that has become synonymous with frat parties and floating refuse. Crown suggests through her giant work JOKESTER, 2018, that although there is a big party going on somewhere, someone is responsible to clean up afterwards. The slick red cup—a cry of joy or alarm—sits sedately on the sidewalk, unaware it is crushed and discarded after a rough night’s use. Crown’s giant red cup, crafted to perfectly mimic the throw-away culture we live in, becomes a shameful reminder of how we treat Mother Nature.
Paula Crown was born in 1959 in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and lives and works between Chicago and Aspen, Colorado. She earned her BA at Duke University, Durham, NC, in 1980, and an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012.