Esphyr Slobodkina

Honoring the Life and Art of a Pioneer of American Abstraction

Thrust Trophy #3

Thrust Trophy #3

Year: 1998
Type: Assemblage

Catalog #: SF_0003

Current Location:
Lewallen Galleries

8 1/2 x 7 3/4 x 5 1/2

Objects associated with needle craft appear in a number of Slobodkina works. One of Slobodkina’s more aggressive works, Thrust transfigures normally benign objects into a threatening weapon as weaving shuttles and thick, industrial-sized needles comprise a deadly catapult of sorts. One is reminded of Man Ray’s 1921 “Gift” where a simple flatiron is made menacing by the addition of sharp, teeth-like tacks. In both, the functions of utilitarian objects have been cleverly subverted, challenging viewer expectations and echoing William Seitz’s observation that “Dada awakened senses and sensibilities to the immense multiple collision of values, forms, and effects among which we live, and to the dialectic of creation and destruction, affirmation and negation, by which life and art progress.” It is thus through Slobodkina’s assemblage that one can gain a sense of her wit and unfettered imagination. And although grounded in abstract principles of composition practiced by the AAA, Slobodkina’s constructions stand apart for their unconscious associations and provocative juxtapositions.