Arts Writing Artist Features

Erik Geschke

Erik Geschke in his studio. 2012 Individual Artist Fellow, Oregon Arts Commission.

Photo: Sabina Poole

Originally published January, 2012

Erik Geschke’s most recent work is a 2V geodesic dome at the scale (4’x 8′) of the climbing structure at my elementary school but constructed of what appear to be bleached human femurs. “Untitled (Social Engineering)” is a blunt reminder that the utopian hopes of visionaries like Buckminster Fuller coincided with man’s increased capacity for war and atrocity throughout the 20th century. This theme of the playful meeting the dark side recurs in Geschke’s work. The deconstructed Big Bird in “Vanitas” (flocked head on one pedestal, a pile of yellow feathers on another) comes to mind. Fragments of the human body also recur, but in absurd ways. Two highly realistic hands emerge from the sleeve cuffs of a double-ended arm, the sculpture and its mate, a double-ended leg, make up the work “Latitude and Longitude.”

“Humor is always an important part of my work,” Geschke says. “I like inviting the viewer in with playful elements to get at some things that might be more unsettling.”

Geschke’s work has been exhibited internationally, notably at the Hammer Museum of Art, The Navy Pier in Chicago, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Center on Contemporary Art, and The Tacoma Art Museum. He was awarded a Betty Bowen Special Recognition Award, the Seattle Artists Award, and has received awards from the Jerome Foundation, College Art Association, and others.

The fellowship will help Geschke build work for an upcoming solo show at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder in September and the Museum of Fine Arts at Florida State University. His work was included in the Portland2012 Biennial at Disjecta.

Courtesy of The Oregon Arts Commission.

Artist Credit: Erik Geschke

Exhibition: Oregon Arts Commission Fellows

Project Website

Oregon Arts Commission