David Ebbinghouse, “Small Sculptures”

March 4 – April 25, 2010

small sculpture David Ebbinghouse will be exhibiting a number of small sculptures utilizing materials that are usually discarded — food wrappers from Granola bars, plastic bags that contain corn chips, shiny colorful wrappers from chocolate bars, and plastic inner bags from boxes of cereal. These have been combined with aluminum pop tops, bamboo skewers from shish kabobs, and the sticks left over from burning incense to make three-dimensional structures. The forms, squares, grids and cubes, derive from minimal art, but the materials are the trash and detritus of our consumer society. Using the structural possibilities of the materials, Ebbinghouse has given them a second life that allows them to be seen in a new way.

Another series of works called “gris-gris” uses the circle as the organizing principle. These take the form of beads strung on a cord.  The cord is braided from strips of plastic bags and the “beads’ are found objects, keys, small plastic toys, aluminum pop tops, and other bits and pieces culled from dumpsters. They have the look of post-apocalyptic amulets.

David Ebbinghouse was born in 1949 and has lived in Bloomington, Indiana since he graduated from Indiana University in 1971.  He has been active in the Bloomington arts community for many years and for almost a decade headed the Bellevue Gallery, an artist co-op.  He is well known for his performance art pieces and installations that are often combined in an exhibition opening in order to lead the audience into the world of his artistic vision.  Ebbinghouse experiments in many media and pursues concepts and materials he encounters rather than using a media driven approach, (such as only welding steel or only making oil paintings).

Ebbinghouse has traveled widely, especially in India and has collected ancient beads and conducted research on them.  He has published bead research and given lectures to various bead societies around the country. All this he considers to be a subset of his artistic practice, rather than a separate activity, as he seeks to integrate all of his experiences into his work.  This intention to create an art that is instrumental in living a life in modern times is the same impulse behind all of the world’s mythology throughout all time and history.  In this way Ebbinghouse seeks to create an art that transcends the boundaries of how we normally think about art.

Untitled, incense sticks, candy wrappers, corks
Detail, Untitled
Detail, Untitled