Keith Lo Bue

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Keith Lo Bue

Keith E. Lo Bue's work with found objects gave rise in October of 1989 to his first solo exhibition, entitled Oddments. In the ensuing years his work has evolved into minute constructed environments, oftentimes viewed through lenses, that have been called "diminutive museums, reliquaries of dreams." (Raymond Smith) His art has been recognized and selected for awards by Senior Curators at the Museum Of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the American Craft Museum. Solo exhibitions have occurred in New York City, Chicago, Baltimore, Westport, CT and several other cities.

The intimate scale of Keith's sculpture made an exploration of wearable artwork natural, and in February of 1990 this work made its public premiere in A Collector's Choice: Jewelry For The Next Decade at the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, MA, with subsequent coverage in Ornament magazine. Since that time interest has broadened to bring Keith's jewelry to many fine collections, including the American Craft Museum in New York. His work is featured in several books, including Susan Grant Lewin's definitive One Of A Kind: American Art Jewelry Today published by Abrams, The Fine Art of the Tin Can on Lark Books, and The Art & Craft of Collage published by Aurum (UK) / Watson Guptill (US). Spring of 1999 has seen publication of the first in-depth survey of his work, entitled Romancing the Bone: Found-Object Jewelry by Keith E. Lo Bue, in Metalsmith magazine.

In 1998 Lo Bue assembled a group of eleven fellow artists from three continents to collaborate and exhibit together. Entitled The Relic-Makers, the show was exhibited throughout the US and travelled to Vienna during 2001.

For six years Keith has been avidly teaching others to work with unusual materials. This has entailed bringing his workshop, entitled Precious Little: Poetics of the Found-Object to Haystack, Penland and dozens of other prestigious art and craft schools throughout the US, New Zealand and Australia. Lo Bue also became an interim Professor of Metals at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania for the fall semester of 1998.

Of the many collectors of Keith's artwork, Julie Shafler-Dale (author of Art To Wear), author Susan Grant Lewin, noted art historian Toni Greenbaum, actors Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, neurologist/author Oliver Sachs, musicians Laurie Anderson and David Bowie and designer Gloria Vanderbilt are included. His 'oddments' may be viewed in galleries and museums throughout the US and abroad.

The versatility of the computer as an assemblage tool has led Keith into the digital realm, where he is exploring yet another angle on found-material usage, creating imagery for the Australian Ballet, Sydney Dance Company and others. Lo Bue lives in Sydney, Australia with his daughter Mira.

The work I produce has always involved making connections between disparate phenomena: reality and surreality; preservation and decay; memory and forgetting. There is a deliberate effort to create in my artwork a fragile technology of bone and soil, exhumed from the scattered shards of lives preceding our own. In this way I can strike an empathy with those who reached for the promise of progress with one hand while shielding their fallibility with the other.

My material process is crude and intuitive while trying to create objects of careful detail and structure. This dichotomy keeps the creative impulse coursing through me, the thrill of making married with the spontaneity of instinct.

1986 B.F.A., State University of New York at Purchase

exhibitions (solo)
1998 The Judge's Daughter, Julie: Artisans' Gallery, NYC, NY
1997 The Witchery of Sleep, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH
Au Kurant Juried Invitational of Emerging Artists, SOFA Chicago 1997, Chicago, IL
1995 Daddy Darwin's Dovecote (and other diversions), Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT
1993 Points of Departure: The Found Object Palette in Jewelry, Gail M.Brown, Wynnewood, PA
1992 Max's Gallery, Westport, CT
1991 The Cheapness Of Beauty, O Gallery, Westport, CT
1989 Oddments, Tower Gallery, Port Chester, NY

selected exhibitions (group)
Julie: Artisans' Gallery 30th Anniversary Exhibition, Julie: Artisans' Gallery, New York, NY
Jewelry Beyond Jewelry, Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ
City of Hobart Art Prize 2002, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania
Oceans Alive: Artist Sea Forms, Lynn Tendler Bignell Gallery, Brookfield, CT
The Relic-Makers, (curated by Keith E. Lo Bue), Gallery Tiller & Ernst, Vienna, Austria
The Relic-Makers, (curated by Keith E. Lo Bue), T.B.A., Hannover, Germany
Sight Specific, Craft Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
The Relic-Makers, (curated by Keith E. Lo Bue), The Works Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
[Bizu]-Génie - The Genesis of a Jewel, Ville de Quimperlé, South Brittany, France
Attitude & Action! North American Figurative Jewelry, DESIGNyard, Dublin, Ireland
Attitude & Action! North American Figurative Jewelry, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England
Figures: Alone & Together, Craft Alliance, St. Louis, MO
Living In The Moment: A Celebration of Jewish Time, Hebrew Union College, NYC
The Relic-Makers (curated by Keith E. Lo Bue), OXOXO Gallery, Baltimore, MD
The Relic-Makers (curated by Keith E. Lo Bue), Julie: Artisans' Gallery, NYC
The Shadow of Memory, Susan Cummins Gallery, Mill Valley, CA
Past Is Prologue: Four Artists, Society for Contemporary Crafts, Pittsburgh, PA
THEM: An Exhibition of Artists, Scientists & Designers Concerned with the Entomological Universe, SomArts Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Icons of the 20th Century, Nancy Sachs Gallery, St. Louis, MO
Beacons for the Future, Nancy Sachs Gallery, St. Louis, MO
The End Is Near: Artists Look at the 20th Century, Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, WI
Measure for Measure: Artists Explore the Four Dimensions, Bignell Gallery, Brookfield, CT
Living in the Moment: The Celebration of Jewish Time, Hebrew Union College, NYC
The Teapot Defined II, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA
1950-2000: Fifty Years of Studio Jewelry, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA
25th Anniversary Exhibition, Julie: Artisans' Gallery, NYC
Jewelry Without Jewels, Elsa Mott Ives Gallery, Craft Students League, NYC
Eyecon, John Waldron Arts Center, Bloomington, IN
New Work, Bangs St. Gallery, Truro, MA
Clockwork, The Center for Contemporary Arts, University City, MO
Schmuck '98 International Exposition, Munich, Germany
...Finders, Keepers...OXOXO Gallery, Baltimore, MD
Jewelry & Mixed Media Objects, Byron C. Cohen Gallery for Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
The Teapot Redefined, Mobilia Gallery, SOFA Chicago 1997
Found Object Invitational, Images Friedman Gallery, Louisville, KY
Trashures, Facere Jewelry Art, Seattle, WA
Telling a Story: Narrative Work in Craft, Penland Gallery, Penland, NC
Hard Evidence, Southwest Craft Center, San Antonio, TX
The Body Eclectic: Wearable Art, Spruill Center for the Arts, Atlanta, GA
Metal / Paper / Metal / Paper, OXOXO Gallery, Baltimore, MD
From the Trash Can to the Bank Vault: Current Attitudes in Jewelry, Phenomenon Gallery, Richmond, VA
Continental Divide, America House, Piermont, NY
Making A Spectacle, Fingers Gallery, Auckland, NZ
Making A Spectacle, AVID Gallery, Wellington, NZ
Valentines, Objects of Desire, Louisville, KY
Once Upon A Time..., Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA
3 Generations: Mentors, Teachers, Students, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA
New Work, Cat Black Gallery, Westport, CT
Tin Can Alley, Self Family Arts Center, Hilton Head Island, SC
Making A Spectacle, FORM Gallery, Christchurch, NZ
The Tradition of Icons, Castle Gallery, College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, NY
The Collectors Circle, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA
Old Meets New: Sampler Art, SOFA Chicago1996 (w/Mobilia Gallery), Chicago, IL
Continental Divide, Breckenridge Goldsmith Gallery, Breckenridge, CO
Continental Divide, Objects of Desire Gallery, Louisville, KY
The Boxists, Sailor's Valentine Gallery, Nantucket, RI
The Fine Art of the Tin Can, OXOXO Gallery, Baltimore, MD
New Art Annual '96, Stamford Museum, Stamford, CT
(Juror: Jill Snyder, Director, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT)
Issues and Intent: Contemporary American Metalwork, Susan Cummins Gallery, Mill Valley, CA
The Beguiling Brooch, Facere Jewelry Art, Seattle, WA
Art Jewelry: An Historical View, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA
Intimate Work, Bachelier-Cardonsky Gallery, Kent, CT
The Chair: Deconstructed / Reconstructed, Sybaris Gallery, Royal Oak, MI
One Of A Kind x One, The Wetsman Collection, Birmingham, MI
The Boxists, Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT
35th Barnum Juried Exhibition, Discovery Museum, Bridgeport, CT
Jewelry From the Permanent Collection, American Craft Museum, NYC
All-Of-A-Piece, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY
(Juror: Robert Storr, Curator of Painting and Sculpture, Museum Of Modern Art, NYC)
Art of the Northeast USA, Silvermine Gallery, New Canaan, CT
(Juror: Andre Emmerich, Owner, Andre Emmerich Gallery, NYC)
One Of A Kind, Joanne Rapp Gallery (The Hand and The Spirit), Scottsdale, AZ
One Of A Kind, Milagros Contemporary Art, San Antonio, TX
Group Exhibition, Distelfink Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
International Juried Show, New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Summit, NJ
(Juror: Robert T. Buck, Director, Brooklyn Museum)
Art Of The Northeast USA, Silvermine Gallery, New Canaan, CT
(Juror: Diane Waldman, Senior Curator & Deputy Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC)
Explorations: Inner/Outer Spaces, Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT
(Juror: Charlotta Kotiq, Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum)
34th Barnum Juried Exhibition, Discovery Museum, Bridgeport, CT
(Jurors: Jon Ippolito, Curatorial Coordinator, Guggenheim Museum SoHo, NYC, and Laura Trippi, Curator, The New Museum Of Contemporary Art, NYC)
National Juried Competition '94, Phoenix Gallery, NYC
(Juror: Diane Waldman, Senior Curator & Deputy Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC)
Beyond Paint: A Show of Multi-Mediums, Silvermine Gallery, New Canaan, CT
The Telling Of Stories: Narrative Expressions in Jewelry and Fibre, Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA
Surrealist Affinities, John Slade Ely House, New Haven, CT
33rd Barnum Juried Exhibition, Discovery Museum, Bridgeport, CT
Studio Days '93, Chester Springs Studio, Chester Springs, PA
All Things Great and Small, Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
Art Of The Northeast USA, Silvermine Gallery, New Canaan, CT
New Members, Silvermine Gallery, New Canaan, CT
System and Symbol, O Gallery, Westport, CT
The Inner Eye, O Gallery, Westport, CT
Visions of War & Peace, Stamford Art Association, Stamford, CT
New Work, Wave Gallery, New Haven, CT
Collective Visions, O Gallery, Westport, CT
New and Noteworthy, Views Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
A Collector's Choice: Jewelry for the Next Decade, Society of Arts & Crafts, Boston, MA

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Image © Keith Lo Bue