Cady Noland. This piece doesn’t have a title yet, 1989. Beer cans, scaffolding, cloth and vinyl flags, hand tools.
Beyond a cage-like door are 1100 six-packs of red, white and blue beer cans completely lining the walls. Silver scaffolding fences them in, draped in Budweiser banners and American flags. Tools and equipment lie at random on the floor, left where the artist last used them. In the adjoining room, more flags and vinyl banners hang from gleaming chrome bars attached to the walls. Others are bunched in metal baskets or scattered about. A pair of handcuffs and two seat belts hang on a side railing. This work corresponds to a series of sculptures and installations examining the masculine underpinnings of the American dream, embodied in men’s beer consumption. Metal scaffolding transformed these mountains of alcohol into a construction site. For the artist, Bud cans are as potent an American symbol as Old Glory, both being red, white, and blue. Flags, too, populate Noland’s work.