SCULPTURES BY BRAMAN, HILL, ROCKLEN, SCHNITGER AND SHAPERO
14 DECEMBER - 27 JANUARY 2013
Sarah Braman is a painter and sculptor who employs found objects and materials as well as constructed sculptural forms and painting. The processes and past lives of the materials are inherent in the work and are never obscured; instead they add a layer of meaning to the ultimately abstract works that she produces.
Patrick hill’s abstract sculptures juxtapose hard and soft materials and references to minimalism and the human body. Glass panels, pierced with bronze piping, are mounted on a wooden base creating a framework of modern design elegance. Draped with pink and yellow canvases, Hill’s sculpture is visually arresting and seductive in its tactility. The folds of the fabric create juxtaposition between hard-edged composition and naturalistic forms that suggest the delicate folds of flowers or the sensual pliability of skin. Coating the material with a variety of materials, including botanical dyes, oil, and syrup, Hill’s canvases embody the tension between chemical reaction and biological decay, creating a monument that alludes to both iconic style and corrosive enchantment. Patrick Hill’s sculptures evolve from a sophisticated entwining of philosophical ideals in art history.
Ry Rocklen’s sculptures paradoxically reflect at once a respect for the Duchampian sculptural tradition and an anarchic rebellion against art historical constraints. Collecting cast-off objects from the streets, dumps, or thrift stores, he doctors and assembles them into readymade sculptures charged with an eccentric delicacy that gives them a second, more “poetic” life. Rocklen strategically capitalizes on the viewer’s mental and emotional associations, as Robert Rauschenberg did for his Combines, by selecting objects as much for their cultural connotations as their form. At times employing a wry sense of humor to balance his stringent editing techniques, Rocklen treats manufactured items, like toys, food packaging, furniture remnants, and construction materials, with a spontaneity he traces back to his youth and the development of the creative process through pretend play. This sense of play is reenacted in Rocklen’s process-based studio practice, as he sifts through and rearranges society’s leftovers.
Lara Schnitger’s fabric constructions sit uneasily as both sculpture and costume design; her figurative forms create grating parody caricatures of the most unsavoury types. Schnitger addresses our darkest fears and taboos, using wry humour to expose a lurking reality. Using craft media, Schnitger portrayals of cultural stereotypes are constructed as homespun ‘truths’, made more ‘endearing’ and identifiable through their beguiling materials. Standing as aggrandised puppets, her figures are abstracted exaggerations confronting preconceptions and prejudices. Schnitger’s sculpture is an icon of feminine celebration, its diva-esque architecture posing as a bulwark of womanly wiles.
Mindy Shapero uses unconventional materials to make fanciful sculptures. Mindy Shapero has a history of writing stories and vignettes that inform her work and vice versa. She is known for her incredibly long titles although the title of this sculpture is short and succinct. She considers herself a ‘channeler’ of her stories, which she thinks might explain her need to make things that are very time-consuming and obsessive. Her use of everyday materials suggests both a love and skepticism of our culture’s rampant consumerism. Her clunky and awkward sculptures are intuitive and contemplative. Her work could be said to have ties to the textual/visual work of William Blake, which compiles a vast array of borrowed symbols and deities. Shapiro appropriates bits and pieces of art history in the same eclectic, additive way in which she builds her sculptures.