Drowned Wood Standing Coiled (2011) consists of two sculptures, inextricably linked. In each, pieces of driftwood are bundled together vertically and entwined with rope, which cascades to the floor in a tightly wound coil. Placed side by side on the ground, these sculptures anthropomorphize into partners who are literally and figuratively bound. Gracefully composed and energetically poised in relation to one another, they become symbolic of human relationships and our desire for connection.
In mathematics, the so-called geometric problems of antiquity are shapes that elude the classical tools of an unmarked straightedge and compass. In Geometric Construction of Antiquity, 6 (2011), Badger doggedly sets out to represent one such form. Each of six circles grazes its opposite and crosses the other five. A thin red chalk line, traced from circle center to circle center, produces a perfect hexagon.
Christopher Badger begins with a root fascination—a shape, a landscape, or a sound—and then pursues it methodically to its logical, and usually open-ended, conclusion. Though his work touches on timeless questions and engages with “forms as forms,” his process allows for unusual transparency. When he revisits a modernist form, he denies its singularity, pointing to the multiple threads that make it up and the myriad directions in which it could potentially go. Obstinate problems are met with an abundance of hypotheses, each seemingly equally compelling.