About the Exhibition
Donald Lipski (b.1947, Chicago, IL)—alternately considered by art critics as a surrealist, a minimalist, and a conceptual artist—creates works with familiar objects in unfamiliar and carefully composed juxtapositions. Lipski’s sculptures turn their objects’ functions on their heads. Objects that we recognize become surprising, unusual, sometimes even threatening. The familiarity of materials used for his sculptures make them reminiscent of the surrealist exploration of dream worlds lurking beneath the every day. Yet like the greatest of the minimalists, Lipski’s sculptures release his torrent of latent energy with, apparently, very simple gestures.
The Yearling is a large-scale demonstration of Lipski’s ability to release energy and emotion from the everyday. Unlike many of Lipski’s sculptures, The Yearling suggests a fairly clear narrative: a child places a toy horse on a chair, perhaps to watch over an imaginary western canyon. But Lipski exalts this moment to a scale that renders it at once fantastic, funny, and surprisingly emotional. The horse becomes a sentry for Central Park, and the potential of a child’s imagination is launched into the same spectacular scale. Lipski created The Yearling for children, who he feels are especially concerned with the scales of life. Lipski explained, “Each year, as children move through school, their chairs get bigger as they themselves grow. I wanted to give children something so fantastic that they could hardly believe it existed. The chair is so big that they could not imagine ever growing big enough to sit in it.”