Photo: Bleacher + Everard
Peter Kirkiles' sculpture exists in a place of aesthetic neutrality. It is not a metaphor for lofty theories, or a vehicle for ironic commentary, nor an homage to the masters. His sculpture resides in a space he carefully hones between the anonimity of minimalism and the deeply personal act of making.
The remarkable precision of Kirkiles' work derives from his experience as a professional metal fabricator, and his desire to work with materials without recourse to personal expression. He determines dimensions in relation to the human form. Thus, scale for Kirkiles is an aspect of perception. He invites the viewer to consider ordinary objects that share our environment as equal presences. When Kirkiles renders everyday things monumental, they acquire a potency that was lost when they were relegated to the junk drawer. An articulated ruler, a pocket knife, a giant harmonica or a pencil is reaffirmed as a physical entity in our world. It is as though Kirkiles imposes a democratization of the material world onto the human arena, where we are often oblivious to the meaning and history of objects.
Though Kirkiles has an affinity for the cerebral objectives of conceptualism and minimalism, he balances that intellectual weight with a reverence for hard work and fine craft. His sculpture is a unpretentious invitation to see the material world more clearly.
- Daphne Anderson Deeds