In Greene Park Gallery's first exhibition, Charnel House Scraps, we looked at the theoretical distance between an object's genesis and its new meaning and influence in both the foreseeable and unforeseeable future. The following exhibition, The Unfinished, focused on the artistic transition from the source material to the artist's creation of the newly-possible. Because the works still begged an action to bring about completion, the new extent of what was possible in the work was yet undefined, extending the new possibilities into the viewer's hands. Looking through the lens of the previous exhibitions, Raw Materials draws a course back to the inception of the artist's decision to alter or capitalize the original object or sign.
Eduardo Consuegra’s two artworks in Raw Materials bookend the range of work in this exhibition. Beginning with meticulously-chosen magazine advertisements that create new interplays from the artist's earliest memories, ads from vintage Colombian magazines for American products are carefully joined in collage to invent a déjà vu. Consuegra's other work is the symbolic counterpoint, pairing mass-produced paper stock with precisely color-matched, mass-produced domestic paint to create works that explore painting as a mechanical procedure combining two matching materials.
Michael Decker demonstrates how a specific material can offer innumerable permutations of signs. In Untitled (muffin tops), 2011, Decker amasses a collection of just under a dozen found wooden cutting boards in various novelty shapes. Then, in this the first of several unique installations of the cutting boards, he begins exploring the potential of this group by responding to the architecture and conditions in which they are shown. Still giving the appearance of ready-mades, the boards' found condition has been preserved under coats of polyurethane, leaving the work's raw state seemingly one step removed from their castoff status. Decker's interest in the mailability of material is expressed by treating the boards as a repeated mantra, whereby the meaning changes as the individual parts are explored for both their formal and narrative potential with the group.
Hearkening to the architectural themes that have informed her work, Rachel Foullon's Knot Drawing (Manger), 2011, and Rural Action (Wringing), 2010, wall-mounted sculptures made of wood and canvas, bestow industrial qualities to domestic materials. Their inherent softness and delicacy is frozen away by their tense arrangement: wood girding canvas caught in an act of labor and industry. There is no overt attempt made at obscuring the fact that these are two very basic substances mingling together, but Foullon's fixed twists and folds transform the expectations of the materials presented.
Jason Hwang's photographs construct a bridge between the literal and the figurative exploration of raw materials as artworks. In his triptych Speed (1994), 2010, Hwang's repeated images of a laserdisc of the film Speed mimic a work in a recent group exhibition at JB Jurve that featured the vibrating frames of the film paused in the middle of a climactic scene. When compared with his Negative Reconstruction, Visual Models series, the objects in both series assume greater formal possibilities as Hwang creates moments in light as material that exist in his dimension-defying staging.
Acting as the milepost between this and the first exhibition, Peter Wu presents new works from his Zzyzx Rd. series of sculptures. In the early works in the series, where he utilizes an excess of sense, Wu obscured the meanings of the objects he selected. Still searching to create new meanings and possibilities through the curated curios, Wu explores the interplay between objects that arises when his decisions in juxtapositions and alterations are minimized in order to capitalize on the original source object. Whether the artifacts of that past are authentic or Wu's subtle fiction, greater possibilities can play out between the histories of the objects on display.