Detour: Color Commentator Michael Gill on Artist T.R. Ericsson #2   05.14.10


The challenge to an artist "to live a meaningful life for the next seven days" - is weighty with underlying assumptions: It assumes that a meaningful life can be lived. It assumes that one set of choices may be more meaningful than another, and that anyone could know which set of choices that might be. It also assumes that such a meaningful life would be a departure from what the artist had been doing all along.

"When I saw staring back at me, this assignment to live a meaningful life, what initially strikes me is the absurdity of it," Ericsson says. "It just became such a broad and vague a notion, a completely conceptual notion. If you are asked to behave meaningfully, it's borderline angering. What does that mean, really? I'm a working artist, give me a task and I'll do it."

The Ericsson's challenge can't help but resonate in these galleries, with Spaces' recent shift from object-oriented work to the searching, conceptual presentations of the current season. It's something he addressed directly in musing about it. "The conceptual thing does make me uncomfortable. I have chosen to make a living by making art. It's all I've ever done. My father always told me don't let anyone tell you that you can't make a living as an artist. But how do you turn the conceptual into a commodity?"

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General


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