COLLAGE ON VIEW
Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker
at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York, New York, USA
8 September-10 October 2020
Paula Cooper Gallery presents a three-person exhibition of work by Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, and Kelley Walker, which examines the artists’ shared interest in vernacular and the liminal space between media. Their distinct bodies of work are linked by a perceptive and hand-crafted approach to adornment—transforming quotidian or mass-produced materials through layering, draping and collage. The resulting objects impart looseness and raw mutability, seeming to capture a momentary articulation in the life of the form. Working against precious materials and formal classifications of art, Benglis, Mack, and Walker engage their surrounding environment to generate intimate experiences of perception.
The exhibition includes a selection of handsewn fabric sculptures by Eric N. Mack, composed from assorted garments or textile scraps including printed scarves, polyester, corduroy, oil cloth, and bleached or tie-dyed muslin. The works draw much of their significance from both the symbolic and utilitarian qualities of their medium, gesturing toward a material culture that has its roots outside art institutions. Moored to the ceiling and walls at discrete pivot points, the collaged sculptures hang in loose catenary curves or extended obliques so that they occasionally graze the floor and reframe the room through articulation and collision.
Produced between 2013 and 2018, Lynda Benglis’s wall sculptures are made from handmade paper that the artist carefully wraps around an armature of chicken wire. Their white or sand-toned surfaces are then brushed with isolated gestures of acrylic medium, paint, ground coal, glitter, and gold leaf. For some, sparkles are mixed directly into the paper pulp to create a deeply iridescent skin. Contorted into flamboyant, biomorphic shapes, the works appear delicate and airy despite their vigorous torque. Perforations in the paper reveal the metal mesh underneath, as if marked by decay, while its wet application impresses a scaly webbed pattern onto the outer layer.
The melding of various spatial and material conditions is also explored in Kelley Walker’s rectangular “Screen to Screen” paintings—montages of superimposed silkscreened images. To create the works, the artist manually transfers multiple inked layers onto a polyester mesh substrate, the armature for screen printing, held taut by an aluminum frame. Blurring the distinction between the tool of painting and its support, Walker builds a rich multidimensional field through perceptive tactics of collage. The discrete visual elements are themselves quotations of Walker’s previous works—found images relating to music, advertising, graffiti, bricks, and other motifs that Walker scans and reprints with both digital and analog interference. In the finished Screen, the ghosts of Walker’s visual idiom drift into visibility, like brief enunciations in the production and processing chain of the image. Also on view are shimmering technicolor wall works composed of thin panels of mirrored plexiglass.
(text adapted from the gallery’s press materials)
Paula Cooper Gallery
524 West 26th Street
New York, New York 10001 USA
By appointment only, Tuesday-Saturday, 11AM-5PM