Licked, Sucked, Stacked, Stuck
I am for an art that a kid licks, after peeling away the wrapper.
— Claes Oldenburg, I Am For an Art, 1961
We are most definitely for peeling away the wrapper.
— Paul Shore and Nicole Root, 2010
In the midst of a discussion about Richard Serra’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, Paul Shore and Nicole Root had an idea: Why not make a Serra sculpture out of candy?
Something about the extreme shift in scale and material appealed to both the artist (Shore) and the art historian (Root). A taffy Serra would transform the monumental presence of Torqued Ellipse into something intimate and digestible. The metamorphosis of rusted, rolled steel into taffy would amplify the sensuous aspect of Serra’s work. Finally, the plan to construct the work of a notoriously serious artist out of candy was too good to ignore.
This simple proposal soon bred others. From Louise Bourgeois to Carl Andre, it seemed that the work of the most important contemporary sculptors had some sort of sugary counterpart. Just as Minimalist artists went to the industrial suppliers along New York City’s Canal Street, Shore and Root frequented candy stores in search of new ideas and materials.
In the process of creating their Confectionery History of Contemporary Sculpture, they found that looking at art through candy-colored glasses doesn’t just make you hungry; it reveals sticky similarities and sweet juxtapositions unaccounted for by contemporary art history.
Paul Shore’s Artist Talk on Thursday, January 27 at 7:30 p.m.