Secondary Structures

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Crate, 2011 Aseemblage With Found Crate And Painted Plywood 63 X 96 Inches © courtesy of the artist and DODGEgallery
Secondary Structures

15 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002
January 12th, 2012 - February 19th, 2012
Opening: January 12th, 2012 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Wednesday-Saturday 11-6, Sunday 12-6, Tuesday by appointment


DODGEgallery is pleased to present Secondary Structures, Michael Zelehoski's first solo exhibition with the gallery.

In an ongoing dialogue between the deconstruction of objects and the construction of form, Michael Zelehoski transforms found, utilitarian subjects into two-dimensional works that are picture, relief and object in one. Dismantling the components of found objects, Zelehoski assembles two-dimensional compositions into minimal primary forms. Where he veers from minimalism is his interest in the nature of objects as referential artifacts, inspiring the exhibition title, Secondary Structures.

Once flattened and embedded into a picture plane, Zelehoski's objects enter the domain of aesthetic considerations and spatial illusionism. Perspectives shift and surface nuances, including scratches, chipped paint, splinters and dents, are newly considered as texture, line and color. His undefined, monochromatic backgrounds are abstract fields, acting as anti-contexts that seal the timeworn objects within their own subjectivity.

Zelehoski's process of deconstruction and assemblage is painstaking, necessarily executed with foresight, decision and care. However he refuses a rule-based mode of working, rarely making the same decision twice. Zelehoski works within a spectrum, at times paying closer homage to the "sense" of the original object, and at times pushing further towards abstraction.

The moments wherein Zelehoski deviates from plausibility, his compositions break down to line and geometry, skewing a sense of scale. One of the works in the exhibition is a disassembled wood crate comprised of multiple floating geometric elements in a white plane. It appears as if stopped in time, either in the moment before re-assembling into the original whole or dispersing into an un-retrievable ether. The result is a stunning, abstract composition of groundless parts. 

Zelehoski’s works that incorporate immediately recognizable objects—a pallet or box, for example—are disorienting in a different way. In these pieces, he tends to remain closer to the truth of the original form, while creating off-kilter shifts. Whether subtle or stark, his intentional moments of inaccuracy, or deviation from the truth of the original form, create psychological slippage. Zelehoski writes, "The actual thing and the idea of the thing are reflected back and forth between the picture plane and the mind's eye."

Whether predominantly abstracted or intact, Zelehoski's transformed objects become the idea of their original state. However, the compelling slippage and crux of Zelehoski's work, is that they are image and thing at once. Joseph Kosuth's seminal work "One and Three Chairs", wherein he installs an actual chair next to an image of a chair and a typed definition of a chair, is taken to task here. Zelehoski's compositions act as representations of the objects embedded, while literally containing the objects themselves. The result is both immediate and obscure. Zelehoski writes, "The object becomes autonomous and is simultaneously closer and more remote."


Michael Zelehoski received his BA at the Universidad Finis Terrae in Santiago, Chile in 2003. He complete his Associates of Art degree from Bard College at Simon's Rock in 1998. Zelehoski received a 2010 Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship and the Survey America Award at Art Chicago. His work received 2nd place in the Golden Frame Award by ArtSlant. In 2009, he received a Development Grant from Assets for Artists. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally including, Christina Ray Gallery, New York; Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA; North American Cultural Institute, Santiago, Chile; La Nacion, Santiago, Chile; and Local Project, Long Island City, NY. His work has been received in various publications including ARTLOG, Cool Hunting, Architecture & Art, and Artscope. Zelehoski lives and works in Beacon, NY.