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Chain Link

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Glass cylinder, suggestive through texture and pattern on surface of a basket
Joe Feddersen was born in 1953 in Omak, WA, on the edge of the Colville Reservation. He was drawn to art from an early age, and pursued printmaking first at Wenatchee Community College, and later received a B.F.A. from the University of Washington, and a M.F.A. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Since 1989, he has taught art at Evergreen State College in Olympia. In his twenty-year career, Feddersen has worked in painting, three-dimensional constructions such as basketry and glass sculpture, photography, and computer-generated imagery, but he is best known as a virtuoso printmaker. Much of his work is influenced by geometric designs derived from traditional Plateau Indian artistry, itself inspired by Northwest landscapes, flora, and fauna. In recent years, in his "Urban Indian Suite," Feddersen has explored the complex reality lived by contemporary Native Americans by making work that connects Plateau Indian designs and forms with the patterns that surround all of us in our urban landscape. The glass basket on display employs a traditional Plateau Indian form (the "Sally" bag) and superimposes a chain link design on the outer layer. This work makes multiple references: while the chain link design is instantly recognizable to all of us as ubiquitous in modern life, it has much in common with the diagonal forms of Plateau baskets. It also evokes themes of enclosure, captivity, and removal, as well as mundane dimensions of everyday suburban life."

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