GOLDEN is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of new sculptures by Joseph Cassan. Cassanʼs sculptural practice unfolds from a desire to concretize the ephemeral. Using commonly
found hardware store materials, each sculpture is concerned with realism and iconography. A swan, seen in the round, made out of polystyrene and caulk creates the illusion of the bird and its reflection. A hovering pair of pink panties, meticulously crafted out of wire and metal mesh, curiously monumentalizes adolescent sexuality, and even further, the creation of man. Cassanʼs sculptural vignettes lack the context, or support structures (swan without water, underwear without body), that we are accustomed to seeing. The artistʼs omission heightens our viewing. We are being shown what is essential, creating a humorous tongue-in-cheek spiritual presence. In a Pop play on scale, we
see an oversized sculpture of a bar of soap that is ripe with an elegant configuration of bubbles, which the artist has cut from glass. The beauty of the bubbles captures Cassanʼs theme of secular spirituality.
Cassanʼs flirtation with realism stems from his interest in classical sculpture and religious art.
The illusionism that is at play here breaks down upon closer inspection, revealing the messiness of human creation. The imperfection and gesture of the artistʼs hand, as opposed mechanical fabrication, subtly addresses the idea of sculpting and making. Cassanʼs work intensifies when he starts to break down the lines of straightforward representation. A crumpled paper towel and an artist-rendered bandage becomes a humble, yet delicately beautiful Pietà. Throughout all of his pieces, Cassan strives to validate his existence by embracing that which is beautiful, and by doing so he reveals a distinctly human attribute: frantically attempting to connect everything with greater spiritual
Joseph Cassan, (b. 1977) received his BFA from University of Illinois—Chicago in 2001. Recent group shows include Kluster Crusts, Butcher Shop/Dogmatic, and Poetry: Literal Visual & Otherwise, Monique Meloche Gallery.