See Conceptual Artist Tony Tasset’s Eight Favorite Things

A look at the sketchbook, socks, and iron skillet that make this artist who he is.

Photos: Anna Knott

Tony Tasset—one of 17 Chicagoans whose work will appear at the prestigious Whitney Biennial in New York City (opening in March)—enjoys blurring the distinction between high and low. The 53-year-old takes familiar objects, such as a snowman or an eye (remember his eyeball sculpture in the Loop in 2010?), and elevates them to high art. “I try to question where value comes from,” he explains.

No wonder Tasset’s favorite items in the Arts and Crafts house in Oak Park that he shares with his wife, painter Judy Ledgerwood, and adult son, Henry, span eras from vintage to postmodern.

 

Leather Brogues

Leather Brogues

($595, Gucci, 900 N. Michigan Ave.)
“For shoes, you have to go Italian.”

 

Rhodia Sketchbook

Rhodia Sketchbook

($5, Blick Art Materials, 42 S. State St.)
“The grid on the paper helps determine scale.”

 

‘Chinati: TheVision of Donald Judd’

Chinati: TheVision of Donald Judd

($65, amazon.com)
“Judd’s home and museum in Marfa, Texas, inspire me.”

 

Cast-Iron Skillet

Cast-Iron Skillet

“I’ve had expensive skillets, and my ancient chicken fryer—which used to belong to my parents—surpasses them all.”

 

Photo of Tasset’s Wife by Oren Slor

Photo of Tasset’s Wife by Oren Slor

“Oren tragically died recently. If a tornado comes, I’m grabbing this picture.”

 

Breakfast room

Breakfast Room

“This is where we eat most meals, and it doubles as Judy’s office. The beat-up farm table was the first piece of furniture we bought together.”

 

Takuro Kuwata Ceramic Vessels

Takuro Kuwata Ceramic Vessels

(from $800, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, 118 N. Peoria St.)
“We recently splurged on these: candy for the eyes.”

 

Etro Cotton Socks

Etro Cotton Socks

($190, Barneys New York, 15 E. Oak St.)
“For the secret dandy [in me].”

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