Chris Hedrick:
Implied Utility

April 14, 2012 — June 10, 2012
In the Artist Hall

Opening Reception:
Friday, April 13, 2012
5:30, Artist Talk
6:00 – 8:00 PM, Reception

Looking at the work in his show, Implied Utility, it’s hard to believe Chris Hedrick hasn’t been carving wood his whole life—the illusion of his pieces is just so good. Using primarily hand tools in the converted garage of his historic Houston Heights home, Hedrick digs into exotic woods to extract amazingly accurate reproductions of everyday objects. This exhibition focuses on his charismatic portrayals of woodworking tools themselves.

Hacksaws and power drills, hammers and rakes emerge from Hedrick’s capable hands looking just like their hardware-store counterparts, only enhanced with the liveliness of wood grain and the spark of a well-seasoned design sense. But Hedrick isn’t interested in simple verisimilitude; his work is full of wit and irony, forged through both his years of visual play as a graphic designer for the energy industry and his weekends spent on the beach surfing.

Hedrick’s sense of humor is evident in these works; he interrupts their stolid perfection with equally well-rendered interventions—a cloth left dangling on the blade of his hacksaw, a delicate shroud clothing the business end of a hammer, a saw melting into liquid fluidity. Like the Funk artists to whom his work nods, it’s clear from his command of materials that Hedrick takes his craft seriously, but also that he knows serious is only half the battle. Art, like life, shouldn’t be caught up in so many rules—it’s funny, messy, absurd and more than a little irreverent.

Chris Hedrick is a sculptor, painter, graphic designer, outdoorsmen and Texas native. He received his BFA in commercial design from Southwest Texas State University and worked as a graphic designer in the energy industry for 27 years before leaving to devote himself fulltime to his art in 2007. His work has been exhibited at Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX; The Art Car Museum, Houston, TX; and The Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, TX, among many others. He is represented in Houston by the D.M. Allison Gallery, which will have a solo exhibition of his work this March. He has been carving wood for four years.