”The wheel has been around a long time and it has been constantly reinvented ever since a log rolled under a heavy load,” writes John Goodyear, sculptor and Movis member who organized the exhibit.
The Duchamp concept of the readymade manifests in many forms here : in a miniature replica of his 1914 bicycle wheel on a wooden stool. (Ironically, Ji Lee’s 2009 interpretation of this classic, “Duchamp Reloaded,” a bicycle wheel atop a wooden stool that uses a bicycle lock to attach to a post when exhibited in public spaces, was vandalized when exhibited in Albert Hinds Place at the Princeton Public Library across the street as part of Reinventing the Wheel.)
”Ashtray” made from a miniature Goodyear tire with a glass plate in the center is another readymade. And at least two artists found their subjects readymade.
Ms. Levin-Rojer makes mandalas, and had taken out a spool of wire to begin forming one. She stepped away, and when she returned, the wire had coiled itself in just such a way that perfectly fit the theme: it had reinvented itself.
Ms. Johnson had gone to the hardware store to get aluminum mesh to work on her contribution. She is particularly interested in the moire patterns formed by overlapping mesh. She, too, found that the mesh had formed its own wheel when she left it to its own devices.
”It’s important to know when to stop,” says Mr. Goodyear.
Ms. Hockaday worked with a hubcap she had found along the side of the road, greasy and black. She brought it home, polished it to a shine that Martha Stewart would envy, and added spokes made from plastic bottles and circular cutouts of photographs of soda bottles under water. Ms. Hockaday is concerned with plastic things that never break down, and yet she creates objects of beauty while making her statement.
Ms. Buist has used glass beads suspended from wire to form the word “dot,” but it is more about the shadow of the word formed on a white pedestal, she notes.
Inspired by Duchamp, Mr. Goodyear put a galvanized metal bottle holder atop a stool to create “Kinetic Sculpture.” Eve Ingalls created a map with circles and arrows, cut into aluminum, suspended over buses made of abaca; shadow plays an important role in this work, as well, casting a circular grid over the buses.
Ms. Asch composed a round using traffic sounds from a roundabout. Photographer Mr. Magalhaes took it further, using the international traffic circle symbol to create animation for the music.
In his own work, Mr. Magalhaes used a photograph of a wagon wheel from a Vermont friend’s barn. The pixels were turned into letters that tell the history of the wheel.
Collage and book artist Sarah Stengle has put together a handmade handbook on “how you can quickly master the basic coffee ring technique and move on to producing your own historically accurate coffee rings.”
”Do not get discouraged if your initial results are somewhat unexceptional, mastery takes time,” she writes. In chronicling coffee stains on artwork, 1896-2006, she gives a sort of concise history of 20th-century art.
Mr. Kirsch is a fan of radial symmetry. “Circles are inherent in all my work,” he says. He also makes jewelry and silkscreen prints on the circle theme, and recently fabricated a chandelier for a New York designer.
While working on the donor wheel, he was very aware of the circle theme in the Michael Graves-designed Paul Robeson Center: the circular rotunda. Also fitting in with the theme is the Chakaia Booker Sculpture on the Michael Graves Terrace, made from cut-up tire wheels.
Rounding out the wheel theme is a poem by Paul Muldoon, beginning and ending with “a hand-wringing, small, grey squirrel” plodding along in a treadmill. Round and round it goes.