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Wheeled Ramp

Published April 22, 2020

Stephan McKeown, Wheeled Ramp  (1978).  Painted wood. FSU MoFA 94.14.3

Wheeled ramp is a wall-mounted sculpture created by artist Stephan McKeown and donated by Robert Freidus, a collector of contemporary sculpture and photography. It is rectangular in shape and has a small, inch deep cut-out at the structure’s front and a small wheeled ramp at the top. The miniature ramp has four small wooden wheels permanently fixed to the top of the piece, and it is perfectly aligned with the small cut-out just inches before it.

While little is known about the artist or the date of creation for this piece, this work is an excellent example of contemporary sculpture and form. Wheeled Ramp, is meant to rest on the wall with the small ramp facing outward. It’s simple shape, flat color, and minimal modifications, are all purposeful decisions made by the artist in his investigation of the structure’s overall form and conversation with his audience. McKeown’s decision of placing a singular immobile ramp atop an otherwise undecorated, red rectangular prism gives this piece its own contemplative significance as an art object and as an example of contemporary sculpture.

Exhibition Notes:

Wheeled Ramp was intended to be mounted at eye-level on the wall in the WJB gallery, as the third of a progression of three wall-mounted sculptures. Accompanied by an informational label, nearly three feet of open space on either side and six feet in front was allocated between surrounding pedestals. When approached head-on, the ramp would have faced the viewer directly, with the small rectangle cut facing down. As Wheeled Ramp is larger, it was placed on the outside of the mounted works, with Bio RAD #2 on its left. The vibrant color determined its proximity to Folding Triangles, an all white piece, displayed on a lower pedestal. Similarly, its simplified shape was emphasized through its contrast to Places Remembered which would have occupied a pedestal directly across from it.