Obsolescence: The Sculpture of Ed & Nancy Kienholz

A lecture given by James Glisson, Curator of Contemporary Art, held in conjunction with the exhibition “Scenes from a Marriage: Ed & Nancy Kienholz” (Jan. 29 – May 21, 2023)

We live in a world of disposable and mostly forgettable manufactured objects. Behind every gleaming big box retail store is a dumpster waiting to welcome what is on the shelves inside. From cast offs and supposed junk, Ed Kienholz (1927-1994) and Nancy Reddin Kienholz (1943-2019) made sculptures full of incendiary commentary about American life during the 20th century. They liked swap meets, flea markets, and had Ed lived longer he would have surely trawled Ebay (founded 1995). These artists often show us the isolation, loneliness, and cruelty that humans inflict on each other, but they also force a recognition of the mountains of stuff springing up around us and the emptiness at the core of a one-and-done consumer society.

This event is in person at Santa Barbara Museum of Art's Mary Craig Auditorium.

For visitors attending events in the Mary Craig Auditorium, proof of vaccination is not required, and face covering/masks are recommended, but not required.

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