Simon Preston is pleased to present Vertical Neck, the second solo exhibition by Brooklyn-based artist Michelle Lopez at the gallery.
The exhibition is composed of three series of large-scale, leaning and wall-based sculptures, all of which continue the artist’s investigation of sculptural history, gravity and the body. The title of the show classifies a bird, military badge and, quite literally, a pose, but at its root alludes to a cultural and even human redundancy. In this instance, Lopez looks to the legacy of Minimalism. Through a sculptural inquiry, she examines the finish fetish and fascist quality of the monolith. Vertical Neck states the obvious about a well- established form in order to unravel how there’s no such truth. Instead the work looks to the bend, where we realize that things are not as they seem.
In Flare, a title taken from a John McCracken work, the individual elements initially appear as linear, serial, wall sculptures with stark and potentially factory-made, industrial qualities. Upon moving around the piece, properties of drawing invade the sculpture and expose a kind of natural, organic form. Through the immediacy of the artist’s hand, and the process of painting each in varying iridescent tones of automotive purple and blue, the familiarity of minimal sculpture shifts.
Blue Angels are a series of 10-feet tall mirrored aluminum forms that reference both Chamberlain and airplane fuselages. They each lean against the wall, having been manipulated to sag and endowed with a feather-like paper quality that negates the finish fetish. Each of these objects continue the artist’s trajectory examining notions of failure, and with this pretext, examines the loaded repeat of forms, of minimalism, and even of human experience.
In a series titled Your Board, the artist exploits the materiality of a skateboard by making otherwise rigid plywood wilt like paper. Akin to her earlier gesture of covering a car in leather to tamper with its objectification, the board becomes another body to deflate. At human scale, the skateboard is rendered as a figure that is ridden on, skinned, hung, and yours.
Michelle Lopez received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York and BA from Barnard College, Columbia University, New York. Lopez has had solo exhibitions at LAXART, Los Angeles; Deitch Projects, New York; Feature Inc., New York; and Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan, Italy. She was included in Greater New York, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City (2000); New York; Public Art Fund, Metrotech Center, New York (2000); and California Biennial, OCMA, Orange County, CA (2004). She recently was awarded a 2011 NYFA grant in the category of sculpture. Michelle Lopez lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.