Todd Slaughter, installation view with (left) Walden Woods, 2012, and (right) Talking Turkeys, 2014

Todd Slaughter


Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery

At first glance, “Todd Slaughter: American Primitives” might have seemed designed to amuse and delight, but that’s too easy. Slaughter wants people looking at his work to think. Walden Woods (2012) established the questioning tone immediately. What purports to be a grove of trees, their striped trunks unaccountably severed from the ground, hovers some inches above the floor. An unobtrusive opening invites entry, and a lawn chair striped in matching colors and tucked into a corner suggests relaxation. Once “inside” the grove, its shiny plastic fabric supported by phenolic plastic ribs, the questing visitor cannot help feeling isolated. And there, Slaughter established the beginnings of his argument. It is his contention that Henry David Thoreau’s ideas of individualism, civil disobedience, and tax resistance, fashioned while living alone…see the entire review in the print version of June’s Sculpture magazine.