BAUER. CROXSON. LICHTY. WOOD.
SARAH E. WOOD
20 January 2012 to 25 February 2012
This group exhibition balances the elaborate, enigmatic paintings of Michael Bauer and Joel Croxson, with the hypnotic, streamlined sculptures of Stephen Lichty and Sarah E. Wood. With intriguing shapes and materials, and odd juxtapositions and references, the works defy, in varying ways, the empty signs of contemporary abstraction. Echoing, perhaps, the response of the New Realists to Abstract Expressionism, the artists here generate unexpected experiences for the viewer by inflecting abstraction with poetic and figurative notes.
Michael Bauer’s paintings display marks and icons, floating upon a flat field, that come together as spectral portraits whose roots may lay somewhere in Renaissance or Modernist portraiture. His paintings unleash an array of references that modulate from the unknown and nightmarish, to the recognizable and charming.
Joel Croxson’s meticulous, energized paintings mix patterning, lines, and shapes with fields of color. Conjuring almost, but not quite definable images and actions, they possess the visual logic of a dream: With no easily identifiable reason or direction, they make sense in the moment and then change course. Thwarting literal readings, they open doors to subjective spaces.
Stephen Lichty’s sculptures suspend familiar materials in exquisite, sculptural animation. He contours ribbons using armatures, creating relationships between elements that have a powerful and poetic sense of movement. Held in a fine balance between figure and ground, the works traverse the fault-line between representation and abstraction.
Sarah E. Woods’ elegant, sculptural constructions inject everyday materials with a stark and affective lyricism. Her wall-based work, Untitled (Broken Lines), made from wood, steel, and string, is reminiscent of a waterfall or, perhaps, the digital version of one. The theatricality of its simulated movement is matched by its pared-down gracefulness.
Michael Bauer (Erkelenz, Germany, 1973) lives and works in New York. He studied at the Foundation of BROTHERSLASHER, Cologne, with Tim Berresheim and at the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunst Braunschweig, Germany. Exhibitions include: Lisa Cooley, New York (solo)(upcoming 2012); Peter Kilchmann, Zurich (solo); Saatchi Gallery, London; Galerie Chez Valentin, Paris; Norma Mangione Gallery, Turin (solo); Villa Merkel, Esslingen am Neckar, Germany (solo)(all 2011); Linn Luhn, Cologne (two person); Marquis Dance Hall, Istanbul, Turkey (two person)(both 2010); Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel (solo); HOTEL, London (solo); Artleib, Dusseldorf, Germany (two person)(all 2009); Sammlung Südhausbau, Munich (2008); Lehmann Maupin, New York; Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, curated by Emma Dexter; Jack Hanley, San Francisco (solo); Kunstverein, Bonn, Germany (solo); Stadtische Galerie, Delmenhorst, Germany (solo)(all 2007); Städtische Galerie, Wolfsburg (2001); Kunstverein Braunschweig (2000); and Kunsthalle Recklinghausen (1999). His curatorial series The Keno Twins (1-5) was presented across Germany and Italy (2008-2011).
Joel Croxson (1978, Bristol, UK) lives and works in London. He holds a BFA from the University of the West of England, Bristol, and a Post-graduate Diploma Fine Art from the Royal Academy, London. Exhibitions include: Frieze Frame, Frieze Art Fair (solo)(2011); Rob Tufnell Gallery, London (solo)(2011); Dicksmith Gallery, London (solo)(2009); 319 Portobello Road, London; Atelierhaus Mengerzeile, Berlin (both 2007); Bristol City Crypt, Bristol; Three Colts Gallery, London; v22/On, Ashwin Street Gallery, London (all 2006); One in the Other, London (solo)(2005); Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London (2003); and Spike Island, Bristol (2001).
Stephen Lichty (Kansas City, MO, 1983) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He holds a BSc from the Department of Culture and Communications at NYU. Exhibitions include: Frutta, Rome (2012); The Barber Shop, Lisbon (2011); and School of Development, Berlin (2010). Performances include: Ribbon dance in a thunderstorm at sunset, Socrates Sculpture Park, New York (2011). Publications include: Special Effects, Advances in Neurology, re-release with Neil Marcus and Publication Studio (2011); and Alexander, Bell, Cooper, McCracken, Valentine (1971), re-release with Publication Studio (2010).
Sarah E. Wood (Beckley, WV, 1976) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She holds a BFA from The Maryland Institute, College of Art, and an MFA from Rutgers University. Exhibitions include: Grimm, Amsterdam; Francois Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles (both 2011); Kate Werble (solo)(2010); Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; PS122, New York (solo)(both 2008); and Art in General, New York (2004).
Installation photography by Mark Woods.
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