Ibid is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by David Adamo. This will be his third solo show with the gallery. Installed over the three floors of the gallery space, this new body of work explores sculpture’s narrative possibilities as shaped by a playful approach to processes of craftsmanship, to materials, proportions and locations. One part of Adamo’s conceptual stance is to question the meaningfulness of objects and the ways in which we come to understand them, through playfully transforming materials and subverting their intended use and more recently, by their amplifications and reduction.
David Adamo’s current work involves the transformation of objects from everyday culture such as bicycles, doors and musical instruments. By way of these transformations, Adamo not only subverts the object's intended use, but also plays with their size and material. On the ground floor of the gallery, the artist has arranged a row of replica pencil erasers lined up on a long single shelf. These pencil erasers are made from clay and hand-painted so that they are indistinguishable from the real thing. Elsewhere a bicycle frame has been crafted out of wood, the rendering of a generic and practical object into a lavish but non-functioning one.
A thread running through Adamo’s practice is the narrative of the artist as a performer, as if the act of making is a staged and choreographed activity. The works in the show point to a fantastical narrative to what could have occurred previously or is about to happen in order for this arrangements of objects to have come about. In Untitled, a replica door of a typical European grand entrance-way is installed into the gallery wall, but it is brought down to 1:2 of the scale and the subtle tones of a Prussian street are replaced by a bright orange paint. The work makes the gallery space itself into a fantastically large space in relation to the commonplace domestic object of a door. This performative thread can also be seen in his drawings on the 3 rd floor of the gallery, wherein the artist has inscribed text from the first 4 chapters of Robinson Crusoe. This tiny text, the smallest one could write while it remaining legible, spirals out meanderingly from the center of the paper like a ball of string.
At the heart of the exhibition is a major new installation, part of a series of works in which cedar wood beams, cut using a standardized system of measurements taken from Carl Andre’s Elements Series, become the raw material for the artist to explore the history of sculpture and craftsmanship. In an almost performative process, Adamo gouges and chops into the wood, revealing the structures of pillars, plinths or totems. His works are processes of an activity and these processes are captured visibly in his sculptures.
David Adamo was born in Rochester, NY, US in 1979 and has lived and worked in Berlin since 2008. He has participated in group shows including No Sense of Place, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, NO; based in Berlin, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, DE; Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, US; Greater New York at MoMA P.S.1, NY, US. Recent solo shows include Kunstverein Bielefeld, DE; Basilica Di Santa Maria Maggiore, Bergamo, IT and Kunsthalle Fribourg, CH.