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roswell artist-in-residence program
& the
 roswell museum and art center

present in the Marshall Gallery

February 12, 2005 -April 3, 2005


kasper kovitz

"Come on Boys Here's Good Water"
model for a Frontier Monument, 2005,
wood, lichen, dirt and PlastiDip, 42"x25 1/2"x26"

"Sketch for Frontier Monument", 2001,
Sharpie, red felt pen and white-out on paper, 8 1/2"x11"


"Amor Fati", 2005, bear scat,  6" x 7" x 5"


no title [Thorstein Veblen], 2005,
miracle on tortilla,10" dia. (approx.)

"Cheyenne Pageant [Rapid City, S.D.]", 2005,
oliomargarine (I Can't Believe It's Not Butter) on paper,
44'' x 30"

"Factory Outlet [Taos, N.M.]", 2005,
oliomargarine (I Can't Believe It's Not Butter) on paper,
44'' x 30''


"Glue Scouts [Fireside Reading and Campfire Activities]", 2005,
felt, fish glue, abrasions on pickguard and glass, 17 1/2"x3/4"x10"


"Lands' End [Short Bull]", 2005,
aquatint, 11 1/2"x15 3/4"

no title [Sand Creek, SD], 2005,
oil on discarded canvas, 24"x30"


Working with a wide range of materials and approaches, Kasper Kovitz creates artworks that are more than a little difficult to describe. If there is an  overriding issue that unites his current work, it would be the idea of the landscape, more specifically perhaps, the American West. Granted, Mr. Kovitz is not the first person to recognize the mythic character of the western United States, but his point of view is unique. Like a latter day Casper David Friedrich, Kovitz regards the West as an enormous metaphor for the human condition and possibly the final resting place of Western Civilization.

Kasper Kovitz crafts objects in ways that at first glance seem calculated to undermine both our notion of what an artwork is supposed to be as well as why the landscape, or whatever other icon he may employ, is worth taking seriously. It would be easy enough to focus on the novel aspects of the objects themselves as humorous parodies of more traditional kinds of art. Curiously, the apparent irony is only a shroud for the much more disturbing question as to the relevance of the culture that imbues the icons with meaning and perpetuates the art-making practices that have brought them into existence. Only by radically reappraising the accepted notion of the "how" do we begin to explore the "why".

By re-contextualizing well-worn icons of the American West, the log cabin for instance, Kovitz asks pointed questions: Fortitude or fortification? Solitude or isolation? Pioneer or paranoid? Like his earth-art predecessors, Kovitz is finally compelled to drag us physically into the actual landscape of the West or more specifically, under it. Only there, ourselves re-contextualized, will we come to terms with our colonialist imaginations and face the tragic loss of innocence along with the futility of our search for unfettered freedom.

s. fleming


"Prologue [only a God can save us now]", 2005,
model/proposal for Socrates Sculpture Park, NYC.

lies in the Market-place [El Paso/Juarez]"
proposal for border crossing - sculpture, 2004,
PVC, balsa, polyester (trashcan lid), 13 1/2"x7"x9"

© 2005 Roswell Artist-in-Residence Foundation. For Personal or Educational Use Only. All rights reserved. All images are the property of the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Foundation and may not be reproduced without expressed written permission.