Scott Fife

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Chicago’s Tony Wight Gallery is currently presenting an exhibition of new sculptural works by Scott Fife.

For the exhibition Fife presents four new additions to his ongoing series of larger-than-life cardboard heads. Rather than molding polished marble forms–like the classical busts of the Roman Republic that his works reference–Fife’s constructions are roughly hewn from raw, gray, archival cardboard with screws, glue, and pencil markings all highly visible.

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Among the works on view are two busts of the artist Ed Kienholz. These works are a slight departure for Fife in that Kienholz was not only a well-known artist but also a mentor and friend. Fife’s depictions of Kienholz, one younger and one older, disclose his familiarity with his mentor’s emotional stance and mannerisms. This knowledge results in two very direct and intimate descriptions of the man he knew. In contrast to the specificity present in the Kienholz pieces, a bust representing Cassius Clay (the future Muhammad Ali) is noticeably more stylized. In perhaps the most curious bust in the exhibition, a young Abraham Lincoln is pictured without facial hair.

Scott Fife (American, b. 1949) has shown widely both nationally and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions includeBig Trouble: The Idaho Project at the Boise Art Museum, (Boise, Idaho) which traveled to the Salt Lake Art Center, (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (Spokane, Washington). Group exhibitions include Beauty is Embarrassing at Western Project (Los Angeles); Frida Kahlo: Images of an Icon at the Tacoma Art Museum (Tacoma, Washington); Swallow Harder: Selections from the Ben and Aileen Krohn Collection at the Frye Museum of Art (Seattle). In 2009, Fife will mount a solo exhibition at the Missoula Museum of Art in Montana.

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