(Gruver, Iowa, 1941 - )
Aluminum, photos, vinyl tubing, oil, windshield washer fluid
74 x 46 x 10 in. (188.0 x 116.8 x 25.4 cm)
Collection of the Akron Art Museum
Museum Acquisition Fund and partial gift of Matthew Ben Kiki and Angela Harlor
Disasters hangs on the wall like a painting, is constructed like a sculpture and incorporates photography. Its central image shows the infamous day in 1969 that contaminants in the Cuyahoga River caught fire. Much of this pollution was related to the use and manufacture of automobiles. The blue liquid may suggest water but is windshield washer fluid; the brown is hydraulic fluid, which is an oil. The gleaming aluminum panels evoke the industrial character of much of our region. Disasters reflects the artist’s concern for the environment of northeastern Ohio and his hope that awareness will prevent future disasters.