Kim Dickey

Kim Dickey


b. 1964      STUDIO IN BOULDER, CO

West Region of USA
Kim Dickey
When seen in an outdoor setting, Kim Dickey’s Mille-fleur suggests a garden wall overgrown with glorious flowering plants. The image resolves from its broad grid of painted and glazed ceramic forms, each a stylized flower or quatrefoil. The floral design is inspired by a sixteenth-century tapestry. Those weavings were an early precursor to the pixelated image—each individual stitch creating its part of the whole.

With its simple geometric shape and aluminum infrastructure, Mille-fleur also recalls the minimal sculptures of artists such as Donald Judd. Onto this simplified box, however, Dickey attaches more than 15,000 handmade ceramic elements, emphasizing the artist’s labor and craft. Each unit is both the same (in shape) and unique (in its painted surface). The work revels in such opposites— minimal and decorative, abstract and floral, architectural and organic. Ultimately, the garden wall occupies the precise boundary between nature and culture, outside and in.

I was trying to reduce the notion of the garden to its most elemental form: the wall, which is the boundary between inside and outside. It represents inclusion or exclusion, which is how we understand the notion of paradise: you’re either in it or out of it. You can’t go back.

— Kim Dickey