Interiors and Exteriors
Art and Design
Objects and Antiquities

Wednesday, April 11


I’ve been watching Ken Nicol for many years and I like what I see.  A conceptual artist with roots as a craftsman, this fastidious perfectionist creates intelligent and refined work. His humorous approach draws you into his pieces, which find pattern in daily routine, pay attention to subtleties, and revel in lucky mistakes or happenstance.

To give you an idea, his recent series Hundreds of Things Volume 1 included works titled Sculpture made with one hundred beard hairs, My name written one hundred times by people I’ve never met, and One hundred cups one hundred ways.  When we visited Ken at his studio he remarked on this past Monday being important.  Nothing to do with Jesus -- it was the 100th day of the year and he had collected 100 TTC transfers, perhaps for Volume 2.  I marvel at the perfect and minimal objects and drawings he makes, born of a studio overwhelmed by collections, machinery, and the detritus of life.  Sometimes chaos is the only route to sense.

Another of Nicol’s series, A Thousand Times, Fuck Off 1-9, involves the eponymous term typed out one thousand times on a manual typewriter. It was included in a group show called Read All Over. Perhaps ironically, for a show about “the state of language in books and visual art,” the exhibition booklets included a typo in the entry about one of Nicol’s pieces.

In response to the error, although he doesn’t consider himself a performance artist, Nicol has conceptualized a piece in which he will manually correct the typo in 1000 of the exhibition booklets. You will find him and his Underwood at Scrap Metal gallery this coming Friday and Saturday, from 12 to 5 pm.