Edward Kienholz: Backseat Dodge 38
Edward Kienholz: Backseat Dodge 38

by Damon Willick / X-TRA

The so-called “TWA Incident” is the perfect starting point to readdress issues of the art historical construction of Kienholz.

Most art historians utilize the story, along with other anecdotes and biographical material, as evidence of the artist’s pragmatic sense of justice and his frontiersman, maverick mentality. Interestingly, these character traits parallel characterizations of the artist’s work. As written of the incident in the exhibition catalog to Kienholz’s 1996 posthumous retrospective: “With his ax he made a gashed work of art out of a TWA steel desk. His rage was always acted out on the object which was faulty or which was a representation of some injustice that was not being handled responsibly.”  Read the full article