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Art talk: Clay Ketter

Clay Ketter´s Pirate Lane (2007) and 4 Composition No 2 (1994) are two important artworks in the SSE permanent collection. Welcome to this art talk with Clay on February 16, 12.15-13 in the Jacob Dahlgren room.


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The American/Swedish artist Clay Ketter was born 1961 in Brunswick, Maine, and his work has been exhibited in numerous museums, art institutions and galleries around the world. Clay Ketter had his artistic breakthrough in the 1990s with the series The Wall Paintings. Our 4 Composition No 2. in the north corridor on the ground floor is part of that series, and also one of the artworks at SSE that sparks the most questions.

In the Wall Paintings Kletter experiments with materials not normally associated with fine art, like gypsum, wallboard and spackle. The paintings are minimalistic hybrids of a painting, a sculpture, craftmanship and architecture, blurring the borders between these fields. Something well known to all of us is turned into a pattern that wants to tell us something about how an artwork is made and what a painting can consist of. Kletter is building a painting in a very transparent way, and shows what we normally hide.

Later in his career, Ketter’s art has evolved around more existential issues like human life and nature in relation to buildings. Ketter still keeps a focus on deconstructing the world. One example of a later Kletter work is Pirate lane in the corridor outside the president´s office at SSE. Pirate lane is part of the photographic series Gulf Coast Slabs from 2007, showing the foundations of homes on the coast of Mississippi, homes which were destroyed by the hurricane Katrina.

One can easily see the resemblance between the two art works, even if there is a difference of almost 20 years between them.



Pirate Lane by Clay Ketter in the corridor outside the Presidents office.

Art Initiative