Working together or apart, husband and wife Dean Lucker and Ann Wood explore a faintly antique corner of Americana. Their finely crafted picture boxes, mechanical toys, and expanded prints inspire introspection.
Their paths to this work seem inevitable. Lucker inherited a handmade magic lantern made by his great-grandfather, a German immigrant craftsman. Wood is inspired equally by Victorian domestic crafts and the eccentric work of Frida Kahlo. Both of them insist on subtle extra meanings in their works: a tall hand-cranked sculpture by Lucker reveals a man’s mystical innards, while a picture box by Wood might pair a wistful woman with an enigmatic animal.
Together, they create “mechanical pictures,” clever and mysterious scenarios under glass with a lever or crank that changes the meaning. The two artists try to “funnel personalized images though our hands,” and both remain inspired by pre-cinematic toys and wonders of the 19th century. They’ve won many awards, most recently Lucker as a 2010 Bush Foundation Artist Fellow.