When the artist and furniture maker Chris Schanck was a kid, he used to sit around the kitchen table with his sister and mother, making god’s eyes of yarn and sticks collected in the backyard. “The objects held spiritual power,” Schanck told AN Interior, “and the act of crafting together made us more familiar.”
Schanck, who lives in Detroit, still makes objects from the detritus he finds lying around, but he’s expanded his palette. In his latest works, now on display at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design, evocative bits of refuse are augmented with particleboard, pink foam, and balls of tinfoil. With the aid of craftspeople from his neighborhood, Schanck congeals this sundry assortment into uncanny pieces of furniture painted in shocking pops of color. The exhibition title, Off-World, alludes to the mid-century panic about extraterrestrials; it’s an apt descriptor for these strange configurations of wonder, grief, and sweet unease.