SCULPTURAL TRAIL TELLS OF TRUE WIT
> 9 MYATT EXHIBITS TO COVER 20 YEARS OF WHIMSY — WITH A RECYCLING ZEAL
IF SCULPTOR GREELY MYATT, with his quilts made of wood scraps and his thought clouds made of old tin boxes, were not already one of the city’s most visible artists, he will be within the next month or so. To celebrate Myatt’s 20 years in Memphis, eight sites will feature examples of every kind of art he has made since he came to teach at Memphis State University in 1989, along with new work at David Lusk Gallery.
Myatt resists the word “retrospective” for the group of nine exhibitions, but he doesn’t object to terms like “extravaganza” or “Greely-palooza.” In fact, he laughs somewhat ruefully at the effort expended to install all of these shows in time for their various openings, including two today.
“Yeah,” he said Monday, taking a break from installing work at the National Ornamental Metal Museum, “we’re getting pretty close to being under the gun.”
Whatever the venue, all the shows carry the same title, “Greely Myatt and exactly Twenty Years,” with a line striking through “and exactly”, an expression of Myatt’s ambivalent feelings about career-survey exhibitions.
“It’s just the past 20 years,” he said. “I made a lot of work in the years before that.”
Myatt’s sculpture embodies the recycling ethic with zeal. Viewers of his work can expect to see reclaimed wood and metal, window frames, mattress springs, florescent lights and found objects of many kinds incorporated with abandon. His “what you see is not what you get” method includes making cupcakes from wood and light bulbs from concrete. A sense of exaggeration leads to giant rocking chairs and teddy bears, while his rural Southern roots are revealed in rainbow-hued