Tony Wight Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new sculptural works by Scott Fife. This will be the Seattle-based artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery.
Scott Fife will present four new additions to his ongoing series of larger-than-life cardboard heads. The low-tech materials and laborious production of Fife’s busts are in an odd tension with the glossiness of the cultural icons they depict. 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. These likenesses are an anxious proposition of the vital and the macabre.
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 Mohamed Ali) is noticeably more stylized. A large portion of Clay’s face has been treated with a florescent pink color, an emphatic nod towards Pop Art. 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 include Scott Fife at the Tacoma Art Museum, Big Trouble: The Idaho Project at the Boise Art Museum, Boise, 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 of Art (Tacoma, Washington); Swallow Harder: Selections from the Ben and Aileen Krohn Collection at the Frey Museum of Art (Seattle). In 2009, Fife will mount a solo exhibition at The Missoula Museum of Art in Montana.