Steam'n Hot

Willie Cole (b. 1955) Steam'n Hot, 1999 Steam iron and feathers 10 × 4 1/2 × 12 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn 1999.5

Steam’n Hot is part of Willie Cole’s ongoing investigation of the steam iron. Cole expands on the signs associated with the iron, inspired by an interaction in 1988 that recalled to him a mask of the Dan people in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia. While many of his irons allude to the wake of the intense heat they can generate, here the use of feathers imbues the work with a sense of softness and comfort.

Artist in Residence 1988–89