Image of artwork titled "Burn Tablet" by Don Edler
Image of artwork titled "Burn Tablet" by Don Edler
Image of artwork titled "Burn Tablet" by Don Edler

Don Edler, Burn Tablet, 2019
Carved and charred wood, cast hydrocal, plastic bones, foam, cable hardware, usb stick, scissors, miscellaneous studio detritus, liquid nails, polymer paint, homemade surf wax
96 × 84 × 3 inches

"Burn Tablet" was made in response to the massive Camp Fire in Northern California (2018), the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history. As the first landscape in Edler’s “Tablet” series, the most dominant compositional element is an aerial view of the fire’s burn zone, the shape of the area’s perimeter recessed into the surface. The remainder of the work’s expansive face is littered with broken, fragmental found objects. Edler burned the wooden panels that comprise the substrate before coating the entire work in a layer of black homemade surf wax. The resulting appearance is at once dessicated and organic yet austere and synthetic, suggesting an imaginal stratum of anthropocentric sediment - a mutant conglomerate of scorched earth, plastic bones and e-waste. The abyssal palette engages an art-historical lineage of black monochrome painting, while the underlying distribution of overlapping marks recall a palimpsest of ancient petroglyphs or an archeological excavation.



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