Pulled by Puls

Recently, I read an art review by Kenneth Baker of the San Francisco Chronicle of artist Lucy Puls. She is currently showing at Electric Works gallery in an exhibition titled: Repossessed: Brief Madness.

Born in 1955 in Milwaukee, Puls has degrees from the University of Wisconsin and Rhode Island School of Design.  From the artist’s personal website: “Throughout her career, Lucy Puls has sought to answer that question by creating sculpture, drawings and photographs from the objects we buy and the objects we discard. She began making art from items found in thrift shops, then turned her attention to items found on the street. In response to societal change, she shifted her focus to the interiors of foreclosed homes when the economic crisis hit.”

Her current work is a commentary on the objects that represent the American psyche of how objects define, create, support or destroy our society.  Baker: “Puls’ work’s whiff of criminality restores vividness to the found object – a donnee of new sculpture for nearly a century now – prompting us to ponder whether the thought of it as stolen goods actually makes a difference in how we see it.”

Will Puls’ art still have an impact once this crisis passes?  Baker: “When the foreclosure crisis finally wanes and fades from popular consciousness, the works’ topical aspects will lose the immediacy they have now.”  However, art should remind of us of the possibilities and consequences of our actions.  Our attention spans need to be reinforced and lengthened.

Currently, Puls is a Professor of Art at the University of California at Davis and lives in Berkeley.   I look forward to her interpretation of the next American crisis.  It will no undoubtedly be interesting and thought provoking…

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