Installation view of “Marvels from the Exquisite Copse,” Katonah Museum of Art, 2002.

Appreciating the Physical World: A Conversation with Donald Lipski

Donald Lipski’s work embraces principles of democracy and inclusiveness. With the freedom to make art out of anything at all, he embodies American ingenuity and resourcefulness. For almost 40 years, beginning with the acclaimed Gathering Dust (1979) at the Museum of Modern Art, he has taken pieces of detritus and cast-off objects and miraculously transformed them into provocative, amusing, and engaging pieces. Since that breakthrough installation, in which he pinned thousands of tiny sculptures to the gallery walls, Lipski’s work has paid homage to workers, to artists, to the American flag—sometimes stirring up unintended public reactions. Lipski has installed public artworks all over the country, each a reflection of the site and the people who pass through it. In Grand Central Terminal, the Miami International Airport, the Washington DC Convention Center, and the Fort Worth Convention Center, his suspended artworks may even occasion some suspension of disbelief.