Colorado & Regional Art

Ablution and Farewell

Ablution and Farewell

Year
1983–1986

Artist
Norman Kester (1942–1994, American)

Media
mixed media assemblage, including wood, glass, cloth and paint

Dimensions
10 1/4 x 14 7/8 x 4 inches

Norman Kester was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 26, 1942. Kester designed window displays for the May D&F department store in Denver and translated those skills into his artwork. His hallmark boxes, in the tradition of artists Joseph Cornell and Gordon Wagner, contain mixed media assemblages positioned within glass-fronted wooden boxes. Kester and his family moved to the Colorado mountain town of Telluride in 1971 and then to the Colorado plains town of Ordway, with each landscape providing unique inspiration and new creative material for the found objects in his boxes. Kester moved back to Denver in 1977. “Ablution” is used here in the sense of washing or cleansing of one’s body and/or soul—symbolically or by good deeds—to free oneself of guilt. Bandages are hung in the box to air out ills and injuries. The coffin within and the box itself are wrapped in the same material.

Not currently on view

Signature
unsigned

Credit Line
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Accession Number
2004.1206

Other Referential Abstraction works