Clay Ketter


KANSAS is pleased to announce Recalcitration, Clay Ketter's first solo show with the gallery. Opening February 28th, the exhibition will run through April 3rd, 2016.

In Don Graf's Data Sheets: Thousands of Simplified Facts about Building Materials, Planning, and Construction - a comprehensive construction manual compiled during World War II and appreciated during the post-war building boom - materials are assigned to their applications, and those applications are described with plainspoken care. The text presupposes that, after close study, we can more convincingly manifest our needs and satisfy our desires through a measured set of materials and techniques.

Graf's book is repeated stubbornly in Ketter's work Don, Don, Don, and assaults the assumption that certain meaning only exists in its content. These books, gritty and worn, are housed in an array of flawlessly fabricated plexiglas boxes; a recursive gesture that equalizes the tenets of minimalism through blunt utility. 

American Stack and Seven Eight Two by Fours employ building materials in their most elemental particles  - drywall and two-by-four studs - and call into question what they are and represent in a shared world. Ketter encourages these materials towards eccentricity by peeling off their designations and augmenting key elements of their character, a strategy exemplified in American Stack, a 2.5-ton cuboid of precision stacked drywall with plaster-finished ends, which sits directly, obstinately on the gallery floor. The artist suggests that these materials "resent our directives and assignments. They have a life of their own, a sense of purpose, and together form a collective unto themselves. If left alone, they can join to form combinations which transcend our projected strategies for them." Ketter continues: "what if we allow them that theatre? That is, for me, what Art has become; a theatre that I facilitate in the service of these materials. And so, I work for no one, not even for myself - I work for the thing that asks to be made."

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Clay Ketter (b. 1961 in Brunswick, ME) lives and works in Malmö Sweden. Selected exhibition venues include Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Venice Biennal 1997; Biennial of Sydney 1998; Whitechapel, London; Saatchi Gallery, London; Cecilia Hillstrom Gallery, Stockholm; Sonnabend Gallery, New York; White Cube, London; Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris; Bartha Contemporary, London; Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm; Brändström & Stene, Stockholm and The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice.