For Immediate Release:
Emerging Voices in Sculpture
Justin Adian, Elise Ferguson, Matt King, Diana Puntar, Jason Reppert, and Matthew Ronay
Curated by Claudia Altman-Siegel
July 10 – August 8, 2003
Opening July 10, 6 – 8 pm
Luhring Augustine is pleased to present New Slang, an exhibition of six young New York based artists, which will open on July 10th and run through August 8th, 2003.
This exhibition explores the work of a particular group of young artists who are reexamining the sculptural issues that have arisen from the conflict between postmodernism and formal abstraction. They are taking pleasure in creating work that is visually attractive, and infusing it with visual keys that reference the primarily verbal language of conceptualism. They are hybridizing deconstruction with formalism to create work that is both handsome and self-critical. These discrete objects are generally colorful, abstract, and of modest scale. The work is both sincere and ironic, playful and subversive. Some of them incorporate figurative objects and references that are combined in surprising and irreverent ways. Pop culture signifiers are present but abstracted rather than directly appropriated. These sculptures are highly finished, and hand made by the artists themselves, which is a testament to their skill as object makers as well as conceptualists.
Walking the line between figuration and abstraction, Matthew Ronay's carved MDF sculptures consist of representational elements that he combines to form loose abstract narratives.
Jason Reppert's fabricated steel and fiberglass forms are simultaneously clumsy and elegant. Although he uses humor to initially engage the viewer, the work ultimately offers a rather dark perspective on the human condition.
Matt King conveys a sense of sardonic humor in his quirky self-contained objects. He uses pedestrian materials like cat food and atomic fire-balls to express ironic commentary that is personified by his abject objects.
Diana Puntar uses building materials like laminate and vinyl in constructions that contrast the domestic with the institutional. Mirrored surfaces reference closed circuit video cameras and satellite dishes, while tiled surfaces suggest outdoor patios and kitchen counters.
Elise Ferguson is similarly invested in the language of domestic patterns like tile and parquet. However she reorients their two dimensional characteristics within three-dimensional architectural forms and further contrasts highly finished objects with rough unfinished and industrial surfaces.
Justin Adian's architectural canvases are paintings, not sculpture, but they posit the question: "where does painting end and sculpture begin?" Using industrial paint he creates subtle layers of pattern and color that appear benign, almost decorative, but then subverts the comfort offered by the palette by skewing the form of the canvases.
For more information please contact Claudia Altman-Siegel at 1 (212) 206-9100, or look on our website, www.luhringaugustine.com.