Studio Flood is a life-size, walk-in installation executed entirely in cardboard and black paint, and centered on the image of an artist’s studio that has experienced a catastrophic flood. Here the floor plane, now an extended surface of water, appears above our heads. One’s world is turned upside down, both figuratively and literally. In the floodwater, black monochrome canvases—emblems of intellect, will, and discipline—are floating and have been wrenched from their creators’ control and set adrift.
Imagine an artist who insists on separating his paintings from the “real” world only to find that world crashing in anyway. With coastal communities around the world vulnerable to rising seas and flooding, Burckhardt says, “Like most of us, I am concerned about these unsettling ecological prospects, but what concerns me most directly is reality’s clash with human creativity. Rather than address this in the macro-political sense, I find an individual’s experience can be a stronger narrative.”
An iteration of Studio Flood was exhibited at Pierogi, New York, in Fall 2017, and at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi, Kerala, India, in 2016.
Burckhardt is perhaps best known for his paintings, which examine aspects of abstraction and often incorporate sculptural elements. Art critic John Yau writes, “By finding ways to foreground his conflicts about painting, while also expanding its definition, Burckhardt has become one of the most interesting artists of his generation.”
Tom Burckhardt’s work has been shown nationally and internationally, including at the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX; the National Academy Museum, New York; and City Museum, Aalst, Belgium. His paintings have been exhibited at Tibor de Nagy Gallery, Caren Golden Fine Arts, and Pierogi, all NYC, and Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco. Burckhardt currently lives and works in New York City, and Searsmont, Maine.