Those That Float Because They Are Light
Marking his Canadian debut, New York-based artist Ian Pedigo will exhibit a new body of work produced on site at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery. Pedigo quietly commands our attention through his ruggedly elegant assemblages composed of abandoned, everyday materials from plywood and carpet to lighting gels and Plexiglas. The resulting objects, layerings, and piles are approximations of artifacts, symbols, or ruins that utilize the inherent aesthetic qualities of these neglected fragments. Embedded within these artifacts are traces of history – factory marks, scrapes, scratches, folds and creases – residual evidence of a past now recontextualized and reinterpreted.
Pedigo’s sculptures appear capricious and ephemeral at one instant, untroubled, deliberate and coherent in the next. This ambiguity carries forward in his investigation of the literal, physical and evocative qualities of objects: an off-cut of particle board becomes the dynamic plane of an architectonic form before perhaps calling to mind an expanse of prairie landscape. Sandstone, jasper, birch, grass, bamboo and other organic materials frequently appear in his work whether as stones carefully aligned on the floor or branches extended like delicate appendages reinforcing the impression of a natural terrain. Suspended in a tenuous balance with the more industrial components, the type, shape, and placement of each material informs the next in a manner that either negates or multiplies a point of origin or frame upon which the sculpture takes shape.
Ian Pedigo was born and grew up in Anchorage, Alaska; he currently lives and works in New York City. He earned his M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and studied in the International Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria. He has had solo shows at Rokeby Gallery in London, Cardenas Bellanger in Paris, 65Grand in Chicago, Galleria Pianissimo in Milan, and Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery in New York. His work has been included in-group exhibitions at Peter Blum and D'amelio Terras, New York amongst others. Pedigo's work has been written about in publications including Artforum, Frieze, Art Review, Art News, The New York Times, and Time Out New York among others.
This exhibition is organized by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and curated by Ryan Doherty. Funding assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the City of Lethbridge. Special thanks to Midland Electric Alberta LTD for their assistance with this exhibition.
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