Bruce Burton | Sullivan’s Systems

ev_burton.jpgThat groovy PLAYBACK:stl logo you all know and love? Bruce Burton designed it. Check out his "real" art at his upcoming Sheldon Galleries exhibit.








St. Louis artist Bruce Burton creates an installation rooted in the ideas of visual systems, archaeology, communication and relationships. Using the idea of the Wunderkammer or "cabinet of wonders," as a guide, Burton creates his own with groupings of found objects. Embedded in Burton’s works with collections are his childhood experiences of the carefully organized and categorized groupings of tools and other hardware items stored in his great-grandfather’s garage. "I remember as a child spending long periods of time in my great-grandfather’s garage, marveling over its contents. In the garage, nothing was ever discarded, but rather obsessively categorized, labeled, and displayed for later use. There were jars filled with different sizes of nails, screws, nuts and bolts, and bits of twine and rope, boxes containing old newspaper clippings, magazines, scraps of fabric, and extension cords, and there were piles of scrap wood, sets of deer antlers mounted on boards and labeled where each had come from, peg boards over the work bench filled with tools, and shelves and shelves of more stuff. All of these things seemed to have relationships with one another; there were conversations going on between them. They all possessed a similar beauty, with their imperfections, impermanence, and incompleteness. They all had previous lives, and many would have other lives after this one," Burton remembers. Burton also cites Nicolas Bourriaud’s description of art as "an activity consisting in producing relationships with the world with the help of signs, forms, actions, and objects," as influential. "I am very interested in these relationships—the viewer’s response to an object and its collective, triggered memories, and perceived associations of the individual," Burton states.

Finding beauty and poetry in these everyday objects, Burton creates his own collections and relationships of found objects in the installation Wunder-Riff, a long shelf which displays a variety of objects in a carefully "curated" display. Wunder-Riff is complemented by additional works including Aural Fallow, a video installation piece that depicts a drive through a Midwestern rural landscape, where buildings, trees and telephone poles pass by our frame of vision, echoing the landscape formed by the objects on the shelf in Wunder-Riff.

The Sheldon Art Galleries presents the exhibition Bruce Burton: Sullivan’s Systems in the Nancy Spirtas Kranzberg Gallery at the Sheldon Art Galleries, February 16 – May 10, 2008. Join us for a complimentary wine and cheese reception, Friday, February 15, 2008, from 5 – 7 p.m. The galleries will be open until 8 p.m. Gallery hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, Noon – 8 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays, Noon – 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and one hour prior to Sheldon performances and during intermission. Admission is free. For more information on the exhibition visit the galleries’ website at

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