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March 5–8, 2020   Piers 90 and 94

Edward and Nancy Kienholz

The Caddy Court

1986-1987
Presented by L.A. Louver
Location: Town Square
Pier 94
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Curator's Statement

A 1978 Cadillac becomes the site for a tableau of taxidermy, historic books, an American flag, and a gavel in Edward and Nancy Kienholz’s installation The Caddy Court. Widely celebrated for their bold and intricate assemblage installations that comment on the deeply ingrained biases within American life and history that result in pronounced sexism, abuses of power, and racial violence. The Caddy Court refers to the early days of the US Supreme Court, which traveled from state to state operating as a circuit court. Presented as grotesquely surreal taxidermy, the judges hold court in a sequestered chamber, isolated and removed from the citizens they serve. As the Supreme Court faces one of its most controversial benches and consequential dockets in memory, the Kienholz’s The Caddy Court is a potent examination of the power of the court and a call for public discourse.

About the Artist

The American artists Edward Kienholz (1927–94) and Nancy Reddin Kienholz (1943–2019) created mixed media assemblage works and large-scale tableaux that explore the complexities and extremities of the human condition. Rooted in moral imperative, the Kienholzes’ oeuvre shines light into the dark corners of social and economic injustice, political and institutional corruption, and religious hypocrisy. Both self-taught, the Kienholzes began their artistic collaboration shortly after they met and married in 1972, creating standalone sculptures and environments from cultural detritus, flea market finds, plaster body casts, taxidermy and photographic imagery. They lived and worked in Berlin, Germany; Hope, Idaho; and Houston, Texas.