comfort shoes, welcome mats, and other heavenly gifts

Carl Z. Suddath III

In Carl Suddath’s comfort shoes, welcome mats, and other heavenly gifts—a presentation of drawings and sculptures—a discrete floor, wall and hanging works are specifically installed in the gallery. Through this specificity, the independent works interact with each other and the site, exploring formal, metaphorical, and social relations. Simultaneously dissonant and harmonious, these works create a space for reflection and interaction.

According to Elijah Burgher, “Beyond the diversity of his practice, the unifying thread in Suddath’s art is a desire to concentrate the viewer’s attention in anomalous objects and the relationships they engender. There is an implicit hope in this that our attention will be woken up and whetted for the planet-full of other visual experiences that await us outside Gallery 400.”

Gallery 400 is used as bookends for a grouping of individual, autonomous sculptures. A chorus of opposites, paradoxical and harmonious pairings, these works, resolute on their own, accumulate meaning through their placement. Like chapters in a book, they unfold in relation to one another and in relation to the viewer, revealing themselves in real time. Seeking an unmediated interaction with the viewer, the work declares itself to be what it is. This meaning deflates, unfolds, expands, locks in and explodes when the works are viewed in relation to each other.

comfort shoes, welcome mats, and other heavenly gifts was commissioned as one of the projects in the 2004 At the Edge: Innovative Art in Chicago series.

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