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Susan Inglett Gallery is pleased to present Night, Shortly a group exhibition organized by Halsey McKay Gallery featuring Colby Bird, Anne-Lise Coste, Chris Duncan, Rachel Foullon, Joseph Hart and Brie Ruais opening 6 to 8 PM Saturday 9 June. These artists employ sculpture, drawing, painting, photography and hybrids of all, to make complex artworks that allude to the psychological and physical effects of time, the body, and the entropic nature of organic, terrestrial matter. While the works are tinged with melancholy, the artists reflect informed and hopeful views of the surrounding world. The show acts as an uncynical reflection of the times that celebrate the dogged making of physical things.
The exhibition’s title is borrowed from a sundial motto inscription, one of many that Chris Duncan has sewn into black fabric and placed on his studio roof for a six-month period. These works continue Duncan’s ongoing exploration of the sun as metaphor, inspiration and subject. The stitched fabric absorbs ultraviolet rays, rain, and windblown particles over time and employs the celestial body as fabricator. Without the use of dye, emulsion or any intentionally manipulated chemical process, tightly detailed imagery emerges through time and creates a sun-bleached exposure. Once harvested, the thread is cut and removed, allowing the scrunched fabric to flatten and reveal the ghostly appropriated messages.
In Colby Bird’s work, the photographic image, here a fruit bowl in a Buddhist temple, becomes a cipher more than a subject. The ornate construction of the frame, the forced-mirroring of the viewer, the object-ness of the photo itself–all of these act in unison to encourage a holistic reading of the works on display. The dark prints topped with glass, combined with the gallery’s overhead lighting, create a mirroring effect, serving to put the viewer “on stage” both inside and outside of the work. Built-in to the reverse side of the work is a tableau of imagined daily activities of the Platonic ideal of “the artist”: casual painting, leisurely reading, and reflective writing.
Anne-Lise Coste’s paintings have the immediacy of graffiti and allow her to express subjective moods mixed with political criticism. Her dada-influenced language and intensely lyrical images exude irony, rebellion and emotion. She creates seemingly straightforward compositions that actually offer us a catalogue of contemporary anxieties. Her Bones paintings act as a kind of Rorschach as she cites “these bones that in 2001 Space Odyssey are shown to be the tool of the creator or destroyer. These bones that float in Georgia O’Keefe paintings. These bones seem to cut sharply to the center of something that is keenly alive in the desert even though it is vast and empty and untouchable... And knows no kindness with all its beauty.”
Brie Ruais’ ceramic sculptures embody a transition from action to outcome and they begin with a list of limitations. These controls, determine the weight of the material, the action, the time, and the basic shape of her works. She begins with her body weight in clay and then confronts it in a highly physical process that involves kneeling, kicking, spreading, scraping, and skimming. The body operates as a conduit for receiving and communicating messages that escape the limitations of our material and social reality. As a result, clay and body collapse as subject and material merge. Clay has the ability to address conceptions of the internal body and the body of the earth; it is in this space that her work reflects on the history of shared repression and exploitation of the environment. Ruais’ Craters simultaneously look inward towards primordial movement, outward towards the land, and center on the undeniability of traumatized bodies.
Joseph Hart’s oversized drawings reflect his physical size and nudge the gestures toward the figurative. The door-like ratio of these lyrical compositions is determined by the artist’s wingspan. His deft line marks reach from top-to-bottom, and left-to-right depending on the positioning of the paper. Drawing is crucially important within the ecosystem of Hart’s studio practice. With the humble materials of graphite and paper, he is able to ignore the pressures of painting, play with line and boundaries, tempo, and be more impulsive and reactionary, which he remarks as a “gratifying way of moving and thinking”.
Rachel Foullon’s Threshold revolves around the form of a braid. Constructed from dozens of strands of hand-dyed cotton drawcord pulled across a stained cedar frame, Foullon expands on the timeless personal hair sculpture to yield haptic associations. For the artist, the braid is a systematized style of control, a handle, a tail, a vulnerability and a permission. Trunk, alludes to the body’s natural system of replenishment and renewal. Hand-dyed rope resembling the vena cava and aorta weave through pleated linen and cedar as if to supply the work with its own rationale, enabling its continued existence.
The exhibition will be on view at the gallery located at 522 West 24 Street Tuesday to Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM, with Summer hours Monday to Friday 10 AM – 6 PM starting 30 June. For additional information, please contact Susan Inglett Gallery at 212 647 911 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Join in the conversation on Instagram (@susaninglettgallery), Facebook (@Susan Inglett Gallery), Twitter (@inglettgallery), and via the hashtags #NightShortly and #SusanInglettGallery.