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Louis Zoellar Bickett: What You Don’t Surrender The World Strips Away

A native Kentuckian, Louis Zoellar Bickett began his artistic career in 1969, when he graduated from Casey County High School and avoided the Vietnam War through a medical deferment. During the ensuing four decades, Bickett has been engaged in collecting, recording, cataloguing, and transforming the world around him, both majestic and mundane, into works of art. Photography has long been an integral aspect of his conceptual practice, documenting the people, places, objects, and ephemera of life fully lived as art.

Formal and thematic repetition are hallmarks of Bickett’s sculptural and photographic projects, many of which have developed over decades. His meticulous collecting of objects both sacred and profane, and his lengthy videos responding to events both monumental and minute, offer a complex meditation on time: how do we experience and define time? how does the passage of time alter the value or meaning of possessions, documents, or imagery? What You Don’t Surrender The World Strips Away is a selection of Bickett’s sculptures, photographs, and installation work that explores the intersection of identity and politics in the artist’s practice, which he lives deeply, and shares daily.

This exhibition is organized in conjunction with concurrent presentations of works by Louis Zoellar Bickett at the University of Kentucky Art Museum, Institute 193, Lexington Art League, and the UK Chandler Hospital.

“An innovative concept with strong execution and prompt and enthusiastic service.”
– Pableaux Johnson, New York Times

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