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Christian Eckart: Intelligent Design

TrepanierBaer Gallery
Calgary AB – through Jun 17

Christian Eckart, Circuit Painting P-1–P-4 (2006)

Christian Eckart, Circuit Painting P-1–P-4 (2006) [left], Layered Zootrope Painting (2006) [right], acrylic urethane on aluminum [Trepanier Baer Gallery, Calgary AB, through Jun 17]

Christian Eckart is a “post-studio” artist known for his manufactured work. His clean, spare images, described as “objects of precision and physical purity”, are fabricated with methods more common to industrial design. Among his design specifications are automobile-finishing processes like clear-coating and hand polishing that create brightly-coloured lacquer-like surfaces. Yet the zen-like ethos of his work, which he has called “supports for meditation”, is one of spiritual unity and harmony.

Intelligent Design features five of Eckart’s new Circuit Paintings and four new Zootropes. The former are wall-mounted panels of fluorescent acrylic urethane on aluminum that play on the idea of electric circuitry. Zootropes, an ongoing series since the early 1990s, are pieces of aluminum sheeting punched with circular holes and polished to a mirror-like sheen. The fields of shaped holes, generated by computer, have a strong optical illusionism. The new Zootropes are constructed of overlapping plates painted in high-key colours.

Eckart currently lives in Houston, Texas where he teaches at the University of Houston. He graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design and earned an MFA at Hunter College, New York. He has shown extensively in the United States, Europe and Canada. The Guggenheim Museum; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, among other prestigious international institutions, have acquired Eckart’s work.


Mia Johnson 

 Thu, Jun 1, 2006