Louis Zoellar Bickett: Wrapped and Waxed

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Louis Zoellar Bickett (1950–2017) was known for his rigorous practice of collecting and cataloging items from his daily life to form a vast archive whose purpose was to chronicle life in real time. Accumulated photographs, receipts, articles of clothing, books, toys, furniture, and bodily fluids were preserved, tagged, and situated throughout Bickett’s home and studio. They collectively formed a portrait of the artist and his consistent subjects—religion, sexuality, family, place, and time. As he stated, “Life is a meaningless series of events that lead to the grave. The charge of civilization is to live as if that was not true.”  

This modest exhibition features a series of wrapped and waxed objects that were recently donated or are promised gifts to the Museum by David R. Hanlon and Linda Schwartz. Both were long-standing supporters and collaborators with Bickett throughout his career. These works—shrouded in fabric and painted, or sealed in red wax—are simultaneously elegant, eccentric, and mournful. 

Bickett’s art has been exhibited in galleries and museums, including Institute 193 and the Lexington Art League in Lexington; the Speed Art Museum, Hite Art Institute at the University of Louisville, and Zephyr Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky; and Galerie Eugen Lendl in Graz, Austria. 

Created 08/08/2022
Last Updated 08/08/2022