Made in New York

Geoffrey Hendricks. Sky Crated. 1965 404

Oil on canvas and wood, 38 1/8 × 26 1/2 × 3 1/8" (96.8 × 67.3 × 8 cm). The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift. © 2019 Geoffrey Hendricks

Alex Fiahlo: The artist who made this work, Geoffrey Hendricks, lived in SoHo back when it was an industrial neighborhood. He painted skies on everything. That’s how he got his nickname.

Writer, Sur Rodney (Sur): Cloudsmith. My name is Sur Rodney (Sur). I work as a writer, archivist, and curator, and Geoffrey Hendricks and I were spouses for 23 years.

One great thing about going to SoHo, was all the materials you could find in dumpsters.

Artist and Curator, Jon Hendricks: Yeah

Sur Rodney (Sur): I mean fabric, and cardboard, and printed stuff, and it was just like a big treasure trove. Well, we're looking at a skid pallet that they use to load stuff onto docks with a small crane. And it's a painting of sky that's that covers the entire crate. And it's kind of like an odd sort of object that you would see with sky painted on it, but then it works because of the levels, you have sky behind and sky in front. So you get that back and forth sort of thing.

One thing that's consistent, he said, is it the sky is always changing. So you can paint it over and over and over again, and it's never the same. And he continued with that effort of painting sky on as many objects as he could.

Jon Hendricks: I'm Jon Hendricks. I'm Geoff's brother. We grew up in Vermont. There were endless skies and storms and so on. And Geoff and I and my siblings always remember that longing. And I see Geoff's work as missing something, missing and longing. It adds some mystery to the work. And if people see the sky in this work, it doesn't mean much. But if they bring into it their own time lost, that's significant.

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