Opener 9
Michael Oatman: A Lifetime of Service and A Mile of Thread

Fusing the roles of librarian, archaeologist, taxonomist and artist, Michael Oatman makes intricately detailed collages and exhaustively researched installations focused on what he calls the “poetic interpretation of documents.” Archives, photographs and records both inspire Oatman’s invented worlds and figure prominently within them. Retrospective in scope, Michael Oatman: A Lifetime of Service and a Mile of Thread included a selection of earlier works alongside pieces exhibited for the first time.
One of the show’s centerpieces is Conservatory, an eighteen-foot-long greenhouse created from approximately 2,500 glass plate negatives of early twentieth-century criminal mug shots. The exhibition also featured Oatman’s epic collages of natural worlds contaminated by human technology and conflict, painstakingly created with images culled from illustrated field guides, manuals, encyclopedias, and children’s books.
Exhibition Name
Opener 9
Michael Oatman: A Lifetime of Service and A Mile of Thread
Exhibition Type
Opener Series
Solo Exhibitions
Wachenheim Gallery
Jun 25, 2005 - Sep 11, 2005
This exhibition is organized by Ian Berry, the Tang Museum’s Susan Rabinowitz Malloy ’45 Curator, in collaboration with the artist, Michael Oatman.
Michael Oatman
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