DODGEgallery is pleased to present Hang Up, Carolyn Salas’ first solo exhibition at the gallery. Hang up is an exhibition of three major works, including a site-specific installation segmenting the majority of the inner gallery.
Working with fabric, cement, ceramic, aqua resin, fiber glass, dye and found objects, Salas selects and fabricates material to create works that are not installation, painting, or sculpture alone, but embody aspects of all three mediums. Salas segments the gallery with her carefully placed, abstract forms, guiding the viewer’s movement through physical and psychological space. Objects themselves appear to be in a state of potential movement, whether teetering, balancing, or hanging. Color pushes out from beneath monochromatic forms, slides down curtained walls of fabric, and stains cylindrical shapes. Each of the three pieces in the exhibition repeat an autonomous pattern of layered components that together make an interdependent whole. Staging works to provoke a visual interplay of chrome, shape, and space between pieces, Salas blocks the gallery with a theater of movement, catalyzing an active environment.
(Hang up), a major work in the show, was created specifically for the gallery space. Five 20-foot long panels of dyed fabric are suspended from the towering ceiling. Each panel is angled to visually connect and spatially segment the area of the room where they hang just above the floor. Using geometric abstraction to define space, the panel’s formations are reminiscent of the modular designs found in Herman Millers cubicles, creating private spaces in public places. Installed in the gallery, the curtain-like structures become monumental in scale, undulating geometric and organic patterns that ooze with color, while simultaneously balancing the fragility in texture and make-up of construction. The installation acts as an intersection between painting and sculpture, between function and non-function. Commenting on a world in flux, the work acknowledges it's own incompleteness, it's potential for new form.
Another work in the show, titled Self Portrait, speaks of gravity, balance, and interdependence. The sculpture is made up of several unique, cast, geometric cement slabs. Each slab rests slightly askew, pushing and pulling, slumping and curving, conforming to and determining an oddly unruly state. Placed beneath the four corners of each slab stand found and handmade objects that hold, rest, wedge and prop the slabs up. The objects- a ceramic Buddha, a jar of butchers wax, a paint can, a bag of clay, a molded pot- are both particular and commonplace, eliciting an ambiguous familiarity. From above, the gray, weighty forms appear to hover like stacked plateaus. As in (Hang Up), this piece assumes an architectural stance, while determining its own set of patterns.
(Untitled) is a large, cylindrical, drooping frame that hangs on the gallery wall. Assuming the volume and organic form of bendable human limbs, the frame takes on an anthropomorphic nature while readily recalling the impersonable geometry of a picture frame. Though more than revealing an empty center, (Untitled) creates a continuous form, an unbroken line that playfully acknowledges the potential for variation. Here, as in all of Salas’ works, there is a humanist implication; Salas writes, “With laborious craft and a handmade touch, the imperfections and human attributes of burdens, failures and achievements of our everyday are exposed.”
Carolyn Salas lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She was born in Hollywood, California. Salas received her MFA from CUNY Hunter College, NY in 2005. In 2011 she was a Grant Nominee for the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Award. She recently completed residency programs at Fountainhead, FL, and the Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Shaghai, China. Salas' work has been exhibited at museums including The Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY and The Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA. Recent gallery exhibitions include Kate Werble Gallery, New York, NY; BRIC Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Abrons Art Center, New York, NY and Casey Kaplan, New York, NY. Salas is currently artist in residence at the New York Art Residency & Studios (NARS) Foundation, NY