Tom Burckhardt has created a 3-D immersive environment filled with the materials of a modern painter toiling in romantic obscurity. FULL STOP (2005-06) is a full-scale replica of a mythical artist’s studio made of cardboard, wood, glue, and flat black paint. The installation, 10 feet high by 18 feet wide is filled with art historical references, such as Jackson Pollock’s shoes and Jasper Johns’ Savarin coffee can that here holds paintbrushes.
The viewer who enters the walk-through studio observes the tools for art making and art books that provide inspiration, but sees no product. In the center of the studio stands an empty canvas. Burckhardt said, “I wanted to capture the situation when an artist has run out of ideas and is blocked…”, or, comes FULL STOP. Burckhardt, himself, is the foil for the “block.” His studio appears grounded somewhere between the 1940s and 60s, a time when painting moved from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art, and then on to the conclusion that it was obsolete, an idea embodied by the empty canvas at the center of the installation. This narrative of nullity comes up against Burckhardt’s own energy. He wanted a lively cartoon quality and chose a brown palette — “Rather than painting it in full color, I like the cartoon quality of black and tan, so you can really see that it’s cardboard.
Tom Burckhardt’s many installations include his restoration of The Bookstore, a Pop Art masterpiece by Red Grooms, and a permanent installation at the Hudson River Museum.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website