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Susan Collis,
British, born 1956

Also Ran, 2008

Wooden stepladder, mother of pearl, white opal, brazilian opal, fossil coral, marble, seed pearl, freshwater pearl, cultured pearl, diamond, white howlite, tree agate, 103 x 71 x 35.5 Purchase, Associate Acquisitions Committee of American Friends of the Israel Museum B08.1250

Borrowed from the world of racing, the phrase “also ran” suggests a certain failure to overcome more impressive rivals. Susan Collis’s stepladder might at first glance appear rather battered and out of place. However, a few moments of observation reveal that the paint drips and splatters are in fact inlaid with a variety of precious materials, from diamonds to pearls, opals, and other lesser-known minerals. Also Ran, like Collis’s other works, is replete with contradictions and revelations: the careless is replaced with the careful, the cheap and temporary with the highly precious, the casual with the meticulously crafted, and the ready-made with the hand-made.

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