AAHD Gallery Exhibition: David R. Nelson

- (part of a series)

Location: AAHD Gallery, 214 Riley Hall (View on map )

David R Nelson


Liste Full Farewell
Safe Harbor and Jennie
Devil to Pay
For an Unlucky Penny

Cross Paths with Jonah
You’ll find Barrels need Scraping
This Month of November
Three Sisters Will be Waiting

Go by the Board
With your Barrow and Trundler
At Ease At Last
With your Fathoms to Founder


The series "American Beauty" is muscular and melancholic. Screws, ladders, anchors, skids, and crates are in repose. The physical or functional is at rest but not obsolete.

Fabrication techniques for these pieces are typical of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century manufacturing. The materials: wood, coal, iron, leather, and felt are typical of the materials that helped fuel Chicago’s metamorphosis from boomtown to metropolis. The surface treatments create the illusion of use, wear, and the passage of time.

Three books were of considerable influence in the conception and development of the series. Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West by William Cronon, One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw by Witold Rybczynsk, and most importantly Toolbox, a collection of poems by Fabio Morabito.