Thomas Solomon Gallery is pleased to present Objective, an exhibition of work by five artists who use the conditions and methods of object making as a way to locate their ideas about domesticity, industry and society. By understanding the power of the three- dimensional world through the conception and construction of inanimate things, these artists may also learn to recognize the power of the unknown.
Richard Artschwager’s 1965 New York Telephone Directory reduces the indexes of New York’s five boroughs (Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan and The Bronx) to a minimal hybrid form. This act of removal from an accustomed set of associations helps us forget the original object’s historical function, while its new simplicity and shape, depicted in wood and Formica, continue to hold a ground between image and memory.
Jorge Pardo’s Pallet challenges our notion of an object’s design and function. By subtly altering its manufactured intent, the sculpture demonstrates Pardo’s interest in making, modifying and remaking things. By altering an item, normally used to unify things for industrial transport, the artist has also transformed its use value, making it an extraordinary work of art.
Ry Rocklen reworks found or abandoned objects such as baskets, pillows, thrift-store paintings and bed-mattresses. He transmutes each thing’s familiar function by therapeutically purifying (plating, ornamenting or mummifying) the original. Here, Rocklen uses the form of an old ladder that has been liberated so it no longer functions the way it once did. Only the name of the person who once owned it remains as the title.
Analia Saban uses crossbred methods and arrangements that elucidate notions of use and meaning—the way we see things, how we think about them and what we consider to be the rules and conventions governing ordinary objects and everyday activities. The shapes of domestic objects such as garbage bags, towels and chairs are reproduced and attached to canvas substructures. Her Kohler 5931 Kitchen Sink #3, replicated in marble on linen for this show, mimics the counter and basin of her home kitchen.
Rosha Yaghmai turns pliable domestic things such as curtains, sofas and carpets into hard fiberglass sculpture. For some viewers, the work may impart the restraint often sought in minimalistic objects, but, while it withdraws something (realism and certainty) from the visible order, it also produces another order of seduction through artificiality, which communicates how secret information can be embodied in fixed esthetic form.