October 28th - December 2nd, 2006
"Material Space" is a five-artist exhibition that opens Thomas Solomon's new gallery in Chinatown from October 28th - December 2nd, 2006. The sculptures connect with its relationship of materials and forms in three-dimensional space. The artworks reveal drawing's influence, as it is a significant concern of contemporary sculpture. The sculptures all present industrial and domestic materials that allow the viewer to understand and view the process and formation of an artwork. The exhibition presents different generations that connect similar approaches to thinking within contemporary sculpture.
John Chamberlain's sculpture is made of urethane foam and cord. Urethane material is directly and readily responsive to manipulation, as it compresses and reforms into shapes reminiscent of a couch/bed/body. This soft, sensual material is wrapped and twisted by the cord as if the artist were drawings and expressing tension and comfort within one gesture. The relationship of human flesh and its contorted, aged and weathered qualities is also explored through this sculpture. The foam pieces are made from commercially available polyurethane foam, which Chamberlain cuts, folds, and ties to make a kind of instant sculpture - direct, graceful and immediate. The work presents a complementary aspect to Chamberlain's steel sculptures, creating a unique exploration of foam and materiality.
The sculpture of Alan Saret is a choreographed body of multi-colored lacquered steel wires. Saret's tangle of steel wires shares Chamberlain's desire for an open air and voluminous quality. Its folds, furls, and swirls of the amassed bent wires affirms a certain sensual quality and lightness that contrasts with a traditional industrial use. The use of wire connotes boundaries and limitation, chaos and violence, but in a controlled, almost refined manner. The form Saret presents is of connectivity and transition that could find a resting place as an organic form in multiple spaces: with cloud-like shapes that also suggests tumbleweed, bush, or beginnings of a bird's nest. The types of wire Saret uses range from copper to aluminum to steel in grades ranging from cable-thick to hair thin. Like a non-uniform drawing in space, this particular artwork creates fast-edged marks, scroll-like lines and amasses itself like a single meaningful scribble that is completely tangible.
Fred Sandback's art explores dimension with powerful use of minimal linear forms in clean, unobtrusive materials in taught acrylic yarn on wire. The application of yarn on wire provides drawings in space that emphasizes what the artist called "pedestrian space." This is the everyday space people occupy, in and out of the over-emphasized exhibition space that co-exists with the common. Sandback frames the work and then leaves it out in the open bringing the viewer into the moment of observation. The use of yarn on wire is neither reflective of light, nor do they reference artistic genres or manner, and thus brings no attention to themselves. However, observation is still left to what Sandback delineates with the yarn: forms stretched into and against corners and walls and allows the viewer to move on so that the space is both sculpted and sculpture. Sandback successfully evades materiality, defining space without form and achieves an antithetical form of sculpture with beauty and complexity.
Krysten Cunningham's work examines multiple ideas of the three-dimension as she crafts material space using sisal rope, steel, plywood, spray paint, and zebrawood. The clear uniformity of her work incorporates materials into organic and geometric sculpture with a binding and holistic purpose and appearance. The smooth, textural quality of the many layers of cords woven between the piles of wood creates a simultaneous aspect of illuminated motion and stilled movement. Here again is drawing, within a contrived space, creating a system and labyrinth of color and space where the observer is drawn in by the purity and movement of the materials. At times totemic and shamanistic, imbued with a certain human pathos, drawn into the process of how its made and how its constructed, Cunningham mixes the enigmatic forms of beauty and complex systems of thought.
Michael Gonzalez's sculpture uses industrial materials such as shaft collars to construct linked webbed forms. They are used in geometric weavings that connect the work to Cunningham's constructed space. The artwork appears to unfold and form in space like a drawing - its built up edges and corners that seamlessly intertwine and hold space. Gonzalez works in steel and aluminum and his pieces are imbued with an architectural quality to complex geometrical perspectives in small and intimate scales. Its beauty of weaving materials in the three-dimension gives the viewer a powerful whole of subtle shapes revealed in tight volumes and powerful forms.
"Material Space" engages the viewer to participate in the artist's beautifully constructed sculpture with imaginative and sublime materials. Sculpture and the act of transformation can form new ways of seeing and experiencing art, as the show develops themes of building and constructing space. This exhibition addresses the connected issues of materials and forms in poetic and powerful ways that are so important in contemporary sculpture.
Thomas Solomon Gallery @ Rental Gallery: "Material Space"
Oct 28 - Dec 2, 2006