Abulic Terrain: Affecting Currents [Salvage series No. 1] by Todd Bartel
24.25″x23.375″x5.5″; constructed wood box, old paint-chipped wood unearthed after second bucket-loader scoop at local dump in search of paint-chipped wood of exact color as used; anonymous painting c. 1900, found in Maine antique shop; cobalt glass eyewash cup (purchased on route to deliver the artist’s boxed constructions requested for inclusion in the exhibition “Memory Boxes,” Lebanon, PA), casein on wood form, root (harvested at a dried up reservoir near Stamford, CT, the day before the artist’s partner, Talin Megherian’s water broke and four days before she went into labor with their son Noah), mustard seeds, India ink on snake skin given to the artist by Olivia Tow (a 2nd grade student at the Mead School, of Stamford, CT, who serendipitously brought a snake skin to school on the day the artist had requested one from Olivia’s science teacher), Museum Glass; 2000. Courtesy of the artist.


L(and): select series work by Todd Bartel

at Room 83 Spring in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA
7 November-18 Deccember 2020

Todd Bartel has placed works from a number of ongoing series spanning two decades into a conversation at Room 83 Spring. Unified by an examination of the history of the American landscape and its interrelationship with the history of collage, Bartel balances content and narrative with a marriage of materials and the principles of abstraction. Actions abound; add and subtract, cut, paste, saw, join, paint, borrow, bleed, and steal, all in service to the visually provocative whole. Muted tones and intricate detail reveal layers of meaning, erasures and negative spaces speak volumes.

Through absence, witness, devastation, erasures and the mustard seed, in his ephemeral collages, Bartel explores some of the cumulative effects of our colonized, consumer-driven, waste-mismanaged society. He says, “Omnipresent in my work is the underlying belief in the power of change. I know of nothing more significant in this world of ours than the transformation of the self.”

Bartel adds, “‘L(and)’ presents a selection of my series work over the past two decades. Each series explores the interrelation of landscape and collage to celebrate their eventual meeting at the dawn of the Anthropocene. My serial work evolves out of self-imposed rules for working with found, collected, altered, and self-generated materials.”

At the exhibition website, viewers can follow the QR codes for high-resolution viewing of each work’s legible details. To view Bartel’s artist statements for each group, please visit his website HERE.

(Text adapted from the gallery’s press materials)


Room 83 Spring
83 Spring Street
Watertown, Massachusetts 02472 USA

by appointment only