Canadian, b. 1960
Water Piece, 1987
wood, Plexiglas, plastic paint, sound system, foot pedals, plastic letters, aluminum, foam, plastic enamel
300 x 1065 x 30 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of the Canada Council Art Bank
Although Micah Lexier’s work is based in conceptual issues, he takes a very formal approach to his presentations. Autobiographical in nature, Water Piece is about the transition from childhood to adulthood—more literally, the artist’s own sexual coming of age. The source illustrations are derived from children’s dictionaries from the 1930s to the 1950s, an era unquestionably dominated by white, male, heterosexual North American culture. In this work, images and text meld, offering new and often diverse meanings and associations. Water Piece reveals the power and anxiety inherent in boy-versus-man relationships. In addition, it explores how what is expected of a man is imprinted and taught at a very young age.