Mike Bidlo, Flattened Bottle Rack

Mike Bidlo

New York

Frances Naumann Fine Art

Mike Bidlo is one of the earliest of the so-called “appropriation” artists in the U.S. Others, such as Sturtevant, Richard Prince, and Sherrie Levine, have received considerable attention, but Bidlo was there at the beginning. One might argue that he came from another place, from his own observations, not only in relation to Duchamp, but also in relation to other artists, ranging from Léger to Pollock. Indeed, Bidlo continues to maintain a focus on Duchamp, which may verge on obsession. I am not referring to “obsession” as a clinical condition, but as an extreme aesthetic focus. Duchamp’s Fountain (1917) has held a particular fascination for Bidlo over the years (as demonstrated in the volumetric Bruno Bischofberger catalogue from more than a decade ago). Now add to this, Bidlo’s appropriation of Duchamp’s first legitimate readymade, the bottle drying rack from 1914, and suddenly a dialogical encounter begins to take place. …see the entire review in the print version of October’s Sculpture magazine.