In this episode, Karl Unnasch joins Matthew Fluharty for a conversation on his creative process, rural community, and bridging difference between cultures and geographies. Husk, his metal and stained glass sculpture of a crushed Busch Light can, is included in the High Visibility exhibition.
A rugged farm upbringing streaked with a penchant for the surreal: This has been the driving force behind the work of Karl Unnasch. With decades of expertise in wood, metal, stonework and stained glass, phantasmagorical combinations of media have become his hallmark. Backed by a comprehensive education in the arts (MFA 2003), his notions morph into works that toy with nostalgia, knitting together sources of collective memory while ringing with an element of his own whimsy.
Unnasch’s smaller-scale work has been exhibited as far as Europe and acclaimed in publications such as the New York Times and Art in London Magazine, while his larger-scale, award-winning public art has been featured on the likes of NBC’s Today show, Reader’s Digest and Voice of America. For over a decade, Unnasch has focused primarily on public and architectural art, typically incorporating backlit stained glass into sculptural installations. His work adorns educational facilities, banks, theaters, libraries, museum grounds, businesses and public gathering spaces across North America.
To dive deeper into Karl Unnasch's work:
For more information on the High Visibility exhibition at the Plains Art Museum:
High Visibility exhibition site: https://inhighvisibility.org/
In this conversation, Karl mentions the following works:
Operant, at the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston:
Ruminant, in Reedsburg, Wisconsin:
Slumgullion, at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa:
At the conclusion of our time together, Karl mentions some music that has been moving him lately:
We are grateful for the support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.