24 January 2020 to 1 March 2020
Foxy Production is pleased to present Metallica, a group exhibition about the aura and history of fine metals; it includes work by LaKela Brown, ektor garcia, and Ronny Quevedo.
Extracted from the earth, metals are refined, reformed, transacted, and valued. They can tell stories of power, prestige, oppression, and resistance.
“Without the love of virtue gold is a dangerous and harmful guest, but when it is associated with virtue, it becomes the source and height of good.”
Sappho (630 – c. 570 BC) is quoted above in De Re Metallica (On the Nature of Metals) (1556) by German scholar Georgious Agricola. His book is a both a philosophical argument for and an illustrated manual on mining and metallurgy. It was written at a time when alchemy and superstition were being challenged by the rational, scientific ideas of the Renaissance. Agricola’s book promoted, often in poetic terms, Europe’s thirst for fine metals, providing both the technology and rationale that fed both industrialization and colonization.
LaKela Brown’s plaster tablets appear like fossilized stone relics from an ancient civilization; yet they include impressions of metal jewelry from the early days of Hip Hop. Golden door-knocker earrings in bamboo-style hoops, hearts, and triangles, rope-like chains, and hands reaching up mark the pivotal moment when Hip Hop went overground, boldly challenging the dominant culture with music, style, and politics. Brown’s works memorialize this juncture, historicizing and valorizing it on both personal and broader social levels.
ektor garcia uses ceramic, crochet, leather, and metal to make sculptures that confound expectations and defy conventions: Works that appear to have been forged from metal are ceramic, metal ribbons or frames are combined with crochet, and collections of disparate elements resonate as a whole. The artist embraces multiplicity as a strategy to open the viewer to new spatial, formal, and narrative experiences. His work articulates, in a compelling voice, the pleasure and pain that the imaginary can incite.
Ronny Quevedo applies gold and silver leaf to paper, muslin, and vinyl floor tiles, producing works that appear, on first sight, abstract; yet, their lines, squares, and patterns embody systems of historical, cultural, and personal significance. The artist traces a visual lineage from pre-colonial indigenous American culture to the present: one muslin piece displays quipus, the Incan counting system using knots in colored thread; another embosses a dressmaker’s pattern for a zoot suit – the artist’s mother is a seamstress – with gold leaf; geometric works with carbon paper on gold or silver leaf represent geographies or indigenous garments; and golden vinyl floor tiles recall Incan architecture, office linoleum squares, or Minimalist sculpture.
LaKela Brown (Detroit, MI, 1982) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a BFA from the College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI.
Exhibitions include Surface Possessions, 56 HENRY, New York, NY (solo); Styles of Resistance: From the Corner to the Catwalk, MOCADA, Brooklyn, NY (both 2019); READYMADES BELONG TO EVERYONE, Swiss Institute, New York, NY; Material Relief, Reyes Projects, Detroit, MI (solo); Untitled, Lars Friedrich Gallery, Berlin, Germany (solo); Dressed, Paul Robeson Gallery, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ (all 2018); and Paper For The Sky, Interstate Projects, Brooklyn, NY (2014).
ektor garcia (Red Bluff, CA,1985) is current mostly living and working in Oaxaca, Mexico. He holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Columbia University, New York.
Exhibitons include fortaleza, Progetto, Lecce, Italy (solo); Cadena Perpetua, Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY (solo); sangre y barro, Cooper Cole, Toronto, Canada (solo)(all 2019); Oficio y material, Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Guadalajara, Mexico; 6 1/2 Weeks, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany (solo); Sperm Cult, LAXART, Los Angeles, CA; Dwelling Poetically: Mexico City, a case study, ACCA, Melbourne, Australia; Where we meet, Chicken Coop Contemporary, Portland, USA (all 2018); Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon, New Museum, New York, NY (all 2017); and kriziz, Kurimanzutto, Mexico City, Mexico (solo)(2016).
Ronny Quevedo (Guayaquil, Ecuador. 1981) lives and works in The Bronx, NY. He holds a BFA from The Cooper Union, New York, NY (2003): and an MFA from Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT (2012).
Exhibitions include Silueta, Rubber Factory, New York, NY (solo); Orders of Magnitude, Open Source Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (solo); Ace: Art on Sports, Promise, and Selfhood, University Art Museum, University at Albany, Albany, NY; every measure of zero, Upfor Gallery, Portland, OR (solo); The Sixth Man, James Fuentes Gallery, New York, NY (all 2019); The World’s Game: Fútbol and Contemporary Art, Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL; No Longer Yours, The Mistake Room, CONDO Mexico City, Mexico; Pacha, Llacta, Wasichay: Indigenous Space: Modern Architecture, New Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (all 2018); and no hay medio tiempo / there is no halftime, Queens Museum, Queens, NY (solo)(2017).
Installation photography: Charles Benton.
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