Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York presents Touched, a thematic exhibition featuring works by Noriko Ambe, Klara Kristalova, Brett Lund, Maria Nepomuceno, Angel Otero, and Allison Schulnik, on view at 540 West 26th Street from June 24 – August 13, 2010. Touched presents a variety of abstract and representational, hand-crafted works—ranging from painting, ceramics and sculpture to fiber art and works with paper—that have been laboriously manipulated. The juxtaposition between artworks that have each been crafted in entirely unique and distinct ways demonstrates each artists' preoccupation with the remarkably diverse results of their methods.
Brazilian artist Maria Nepomuceno explores the coexistence of opposing forces in her vibrant, amorphous works constructed with woven straw and beads. Incorporating spirals into many of her sculpted works Nepomuceno defines infinite transformation and controlled freedom through various iterations of this gesture. At Lehmann Maupin, her large-scale sculpture will appear to grow from the gallery walls spreading across the floor in a structured and controlled manner.
Consumed by her intricate process of hand cutting individual sheets of paper, and adhering them together, Noriko Ambe's work is at once delicate and monumental. Sculpaper 1, a large floor sculpture that evokes a topographical map, appears elegant yet violent, and allows the slight inaccuracies of the human hand to convey the nuances of human emotions, habits, and biorhythms.
Czechoslovakian artist Klara Kristalova is known for her allegorical ceramic sculptures of intimate scale. Drawing inspiration from folklore, fairy tales, and common emotional transformations, Kristalova effectively portrays the peculiarities of the human psyche, oftentimes sinister or abashed, in eerie, unrefined figures.
Brett Lund's crude sculptures are striking to look at. By combining science fiction, mythology and modernism, the Los Angeles-based artist creates tension between his materials and subject taking classical forms to extremes. Mixed and adhesive materials such as plaster, fiberglass and resin merge to make a composite where each material contributes specific visual properties and refer to bodily fluids. Reduced and modular bases interact with objects whose surfaces seem frozen in an interstitial moment rather than being fully formed. The formal responds to the formless, dissolving and assimilating contradictions, while extending the metaphor of visual language along material and semiotic lines.
Through a combination of painting and assemblage, Angel Otero creates a dialogue between narrative, abstraction and material. Otero's work is heavily influenced by his life in Puerto Rico and relationships with members of his family, most notably his grandmother. Often interweaving traditional Spanish Baroque imagery with the personal subject matter, Otero employs unconventional techniques, creating large-scale, dynamic, and expressionistic abstractions.
Allison Schulnik choreographs her subjects in compositions that embody a spirit of the macabre, a Shakespearian comedy/tragedy of love, death and farce. The subjects of her paintings often stare back at the audience and study them as they are in turn studied. Although a haunting sense of foreboding, discomfort and unease is palpable, a sense of understanding, compassion and hopefulness for her cast of characters is still evident in the heavy impasto paintings. Her sculptural use of oil paint references her clay-animation background, as a motion-like sensibility affords her paintings unparalleled depth and energy.