For his first museum commission and solo museum presentation, Dallas-native artist Chris Schanck created a contemporary work inspired by the late-19th century Martelé dressing table in the DMA’s collection. Made of found objects from the immediate neighborhood of the artist’s Detroit studio, Schanck’s dressing table is coated in resin and aluminum foil—a reference to the Dallas aluminum factory where, along with his father, Schanck worked when he was young. The two dressing tables are presented together in a conversation across time about craftsmanship, material, and the vanity that drives them.
IN CONVERSATION: A CONTEMPORARY FOIL
For his first museum commission and solo museum presentation, Dallas-native artist Chris Schanck created a contemporary work inspired by the late-19th century Martelé dressing table in the DMA’s collection. Find out more about “Curbed Vanity: A Contemporary Foil by Chris Schanck” from the exhibition’s curator, Sarah Schleuning, and the artist himself.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Detroit-based designer Chris Schanck embraces contradiction in his work, finding a comfortable place between the distinctions of dilapidation and assemblage, individual and collective, industrial and handcraft, romanticism and cynicism. His efforts deviate from the mass-produced, instead reviving mundane materials by transforming them into unique objects of uncommon luxury. Schanck is perhaps best known for his “Alufoil” series, in which industrial and discarded materials are sculpted, covered in aluminum foil and then sealed with resin. Schanck received a B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts in Sculpture and an M.F.A in Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 2011, Schanck moved to Detroit and founded a burgeoning studio with over a dozen artists, students and craftspeople.