The Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to present Maria Loboda’s exhibition General Electric – her first show at the gallery. Based on myriad associations with the overall idea, history, and architectural manifestation of electricity, the exhibition will feature sculpture, installation and collage.
Loboda’s exhibitions are organized by web-like connections around a central theme that touch on the historical, magical, mythical, as well as the political and natural world. And in this exhibition, she has taken as a focus the General Electric building in New York’s Midtown. The building is a classic Art Deco visual statement of suggested power through simplification, and embodies energy and movement, power and style. Of particular interest is the sculpture above a conspicuous corner clock which features the GE logo and a pair of silver disembodied forearms grasping or channeling a thunderbolt – a physical harnessing of an inexplicable natural force – a formalization of the ephemeral.
In her works too this same metaphysical manifestation is addressed – a steel sculpture which runs like a circuit around the edges of the gallery is varnished with amber (which is the etymological core of “electricity”) – thus addressing the idea that nothing is stable or safe and that an interior can be restless, that there is no real retreat – and there is an electric current is running on the edges of everything.
Loboda’s collages also address the desire to control or contain that which we cannot – in the case of English gardens, the force is nature. The images of the incredibly preened hedges that were taken in the early morning and laid against a marbled skyline suggest that all attempts at control are illusory. It’s as if in the early morning hours this wilderness is reclaiming its power. Also in the exhibition are military-style beds – calling forth the irony of rest or sleep during a war.
Considered together the works in the show can be seen as a study on the desire for reason and order in the face of the organic and untamable. A construction of a reality that, in the end is untenable and even dangerous, like hands holding a lightning bolt – but absolutely necessary to make sense of our world – and ultimately to survive.
Born in Krakow, Maria studied at the Städelschule in Frankfurt and is currently based in New York. She has shown extensively and internationally - this year her work was featured in Documenta (13), and she has an upcoming solo show at the Museo Reina Sofia. This show is a continuation of a show that she did at Her work has been exhibited at the Hirschhorn Museum, in Washington DC, at the ICA London, the Palais de Tokyo, in Paris, and Portikus in Frankfurt.