Louis Zoellar Bickett is a Kentucky native that was born in 1950 in Clark County, Kentucky. Being a conceptual artist and photographer, Bickett has moved around quite a bit throughout his life but now runs an archive and studio here in Lexington. Unlike many professional artists, Louis Bickett is self-taught. His creations purely come from the skills he has acquired on his own throughout time. He has had a working studio since 1969 with his artwork focusing on identity, the passage of time and death. These works are often very political in nature. The most important inspiration that Bickett has gathered in his travels around the world came from the work of Joseph Beuys and Annette Messager.
Not only has Louis Bickett had many of solo and group shows in the United States but has also collaborated in group shows in Japan, Russia and France. An early group show that is notable for him was titled AIDS: THE ARTIST RESPONDS. This took place at the Wexner Center for Art at Ohio State University. It was the first organized show on a United States university campus concerning that particular subject. His most recent work is entitled THE ARCHIVE. He is currently taking an inventory on all the things in his home and studio and making a photographic documentation of them. At the conclusion of the project, the goal is for people to be able to look at the work and be able to tell exactly what Louis Bickett possesses.
Louis Bickett also has work on display in Artist: Body exhibition. The three pieces of work on display all play off of the same idea and have the same title What I Read. These pieces depict a nude Bickett holding the Bible, the Torah and the Qur’an. The goal was to show that he is now aging and vulnerable. In this context the humor that pervaded an earlier series gives way to pathos, a deepening awareness of mortality that is made all the more poignant by the presence of the three religious books.
Don’t miss your chance to learn more about this great local artist. Come by the Lexington Art League to view his works and receive a better understanding of just who Louis Bickett is as an artist. Gallery Hours will be held from February 27th through March 27th. Tuesday through Thursday from 10am-4pm, Fridays from 10am-8pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm-4pm.
Written by Chase Bisig, LAL Intern, University of Kentucky ISC student
"What I Read" series by Louis Zoeller Bickett 2015 inkjet print Courtesy of the artist
To learn more about Louis, check out Creative Lexington's Snapshot Bio.