Out of the Woods, we have escaped a dangerous moment in our lives. Vulnerable to nature's whims and snares, unable to see the forest through the trees, we were lost, and now we are found. But there is such beauty to be discovered in the Woods! paradoxically, we willingly lose ourselves in this mysterious, familiar scene. This exhibition contains human narratives and earthen elements, bound by the confines of our beautifully dangerous wooded landscape. We will never be Out of the Woods. – James Salomon, 2009
Curated with James Salomon, the exhibition brings together a diverse group of works from the 1960s to the present, in which materials, forms, concepts, and narratives are derived from the natural environment and cultural symbolism of the primeval forest.
The exhibition will feature sculptural works composed of such diverse elements as language (Lawrence Weiner’s STRIPPED BARK, 1991); steel (Model for Fallen Tree, 2005 by Roxy Paine); found stones and branches (Ned Smyth, From Here to There, 2008); and clay (Michelle Stuart’s Earth Diptych, 1968).
Michael Combs’s The Wish, 2008, consists of a life-sized, white leather-bound stag, confined within a ten-foot ornamental aluminum cage that will hang suspended from the ceiling in the center of the gallery’s main room. The artist, who was raised on Long Island‘s East End in a family of professional hunting guides, was inspired by the local legend of a perpetually elusive albino buck that, to this day, roams the woods, “only in the deepest night, in the thickest of fog or the strongest of snow.”
Large-scale, multi-media photographic works include Kunié Sugiura’s richly textured Tree Bark 2, 1971, printed directly on to sensitized canvas and enhanced with acrylic paint and Tokihiro Sato’s #349 Kashimagawa, 1998, a black and white photograph on transparent film that hangs suspended by steel brackets across a bank of florescent lights. Sarah Anne Johnson’s large lenticular photographs of spruce trees shot at night will appear to stir in the evening breezes as the viewer passes them in the gallery’s entry hall. Surreal sylvan encounters are depicted in color photographs by Ryan McGinley, Justine Kurland, and Laurel Nakadate.
We are also extremely pleased to present a major work on paper from the 1970s by Michelle Stuart, who pioneered the use of organic elements such as earth, seeds, stones and plants to create monumentally scaled works that transcend drawing, painting, and sculpture, and works on paper by Meg Webster and Adam Fuss.
James Salomon has owned and operated Salomon Contemporary Warehouse, an exhibition space in East Hampton, N.Y. since 2005. He recently opened a second location at 526 West 26th Street in New York, with works by Ned Smyth on view through 6 March. Both locations are open by appointment only.