International artist Christian Eckart opens an exhibition of new works with a reception for the artist April 27, 2006 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at McClain Gallery. Eckart, who relocated to Houston from New York City in 2003, has titled his exhibition, PURPOSE DRIVEN.
Purpose Driven references the rhetoric of a local Christian Televangelical congregation. A mixture of irony and affirmation, Purpose Driven posits the artist’s dialog about the utility of artworks as vehicles purposed to transact spiritual, moral and/or socially meaningful operations. Although Eckart acknowledges many of the high-minded aspirations assigned to contemporary artistic production, his ultimate concerns currently are beauty, surface fetishism, visual density, simplicity/complexity motivated by an overwhelming desire to manufacture what he describes as “really cool“
Incorporating materials such as steel, aluminum, and painting techniques common to the auto industry, Eckart uses industrial fabricators to make finished works that are objects of precision and physical purity. Unlike artists using similar industrial materials, such as Donald Judd, Eckart imbues his objects with a spirit and sensuality that belies the physical character of its materials.
Originally from Western Canada, Eckart had been living and working in New York since 1984, where he studied at Hunter College, CUNY. He received his M.F.A. from Hunter College in 1986.
Eckart’s work has been the subject of over 60 solo exhibitions, including Sidney Janis Gallery, New York; Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; Galerie Thadaeus Ropac, Paris; and Trépanier Baer Gallery, Calgary, Canada. In 1996, a ten-year survey of his work toured six Canadian museums. His works are included in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Eli Broad Family Foundation, Santa Monica, California; and Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna; and The Australian National Gallery.