SI Vault
Edited by Robert Sullivan
November 17, 1986
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November 17, 1986


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Baseball in Hawaii. According to Einstein, it's as logical as E=MC2.


As the folks at the Michael Kohn Gallery in L.A. explain it, the art exhibit that opened last Saturday "takes the idea of the object—in this case the seductive shape of the surfboard—and attempts to trap the image beneath the fiberglass and resin surface. The pristine quality of the finish thereby heightens the effect of the color and design underneath, and the shape itself becomes a hyper-realization of the art object. [The artists] have developed a visual language based on abstract/geometric design, as well as upon an intensity of color and form."

Yeah, and the boards look cool, too.

The show includes one work by each of six artists who claim an affinity for the "objectness" of a piece of sculpture. The objects in question are real surfboards constructed by Dean Edwards, an L.A. craftsman who has been shaping boards for 20 years. Edwards is one of the six who fashioned the boards into sculptures, the others being Peter Halley, Peter Schuyff, Ashley Bickerton, Kenny Scharf and James Welling. The pieces range from Bickerton's chrome-and-wood creation ("A very serious parody of a surfboard," says Kohn) to Scharf's fiberglass-coated paintings ("Very Californian—He did them on rice paper treated with a special, secret formula") to Welling's black-and-white statement ("It looks like a dalmatian"). The sculptures are for sale—$50,000 for the set and you can throw these bitchin' boards atop your woodie and drive them home. But buyer beware: While four are usable in the surf, two are not seaworthy.

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