Craftsmen, cooks, and builders create a kind of practical beauty that isn’t as readily praised as the work of fine artists. In ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, the Columbia Museum of Art exalts the working man through the collection of hardware store tycoon John Hechinger. The exhibit features 48 pieces from artists such as Berenice Abbott, Anthony Caro, and Claes Oldenburg, who sanctify hard-working Americans and their machines through sculpture, drawing, woodworking, photography, and much more. Catch odd pieces made from wrenches, a paintbrush covered in lace, or a perplexing painting depicting the divide between the haves and have-nots. Whether you prefer a day at the pool or enjoy rolling up your sleeves for work, it’s impossible not to find inspiration from the vignettes of the working class—the tools as important as the objects (or art) they build with them.
Arman, Blue, Red, Brown, 1988. Mixed media. Photograph of artwork by Joel Breger, courtesy of the Columbia Museum of Art.
ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection runs through August 27. The Columbia Museum of Art is located on 1515 Main St, Columbia. Museum hours are Tues–Fri, 11am–5pm, Sat, 10am–5 pm, and Sun, noon–5pm. Admission prices vary.