Marcel’s Shovel

Marcel’s Shovel

Marcel’s Shovel
Title: Marcel’s Shovel
Artist: Tom Eckert, US
Nationality: US
Date: 2014
Materials: Basswood (carved), Lacquer
Dimensions: 30 x 50 x 3 in.
Price: $16,000
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Object ID Number: 2016FFTE2
Object Number: 2016FFTE2
Notes: Marcel’s Shovel - 2014 (30” X 50” X 3” D, carved and painted basswood) is a reference to one of Marcel Duchamp’s “readymades”, In Advance of the Broken Arm (1964), a snow shovel hung from the ceiling. Duchamp is well known as a forerunner of the Conceptual Art movement, which came to prominence in the 60’s and is still strong today. This movement consisted of intellectually inspired, anti-art artists who produced groups interested in happenings, performance and ephemera. All this was to test the traditions of established art. Implied concerns such as aesthetics, expression, skill and marketability were all irrelevant standards by which art was usually judged. Over the years, the impact of this anti-art movement eclipsed many skill-based traditional processes among artists and within the educational curriculum. This piece is in response to that movement. Looking back, it occurs to me that most of my learned skills – painting, drawing, joinery, carving and turning - have converged in my work. Lathe turning is still especially important and many of my newest pieces include turned parts (i.e. shovel handle on Marcel’s Shovel). Coming from a painting and drawing background, it was hard for me to abandon the use of paint. In my early work, I was concerned with the intrinsic beauty of wood. I now use wood as my expressive medium as a ceramic artist would use clay.