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June 15 2009 2 15 /06 /June /2009 11:05

From June 27th until December 20th, the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College presents an exhibition survey of Rachel Harrison, an original New-York based sculptor.

Entitled "Consider the Lobster", after an essay by the late David Foster Wallace, this exhibition scans over ten years of large-scale installations by Harrison, all of which will be reconfigured for the CCS Bard galleries, as well as a number of the autonomous sculptural and photographic works for which she is best known. In addition to the survey of Rachel Harrison’s work in the CCS Bard Galleries, the CCS Bard College also invited six artists (Nayland Blake, Tom Burr, Harry Dodge, Alix Lambert, Allen Ruppersberg, and Andrea Zitte) to collaborate with her to re-install works from the Marieluise Hessel Collection. An interesting experience...

Colored sculptures with organic forms, composed of photographic elements and diverse objects and materials as readymade. They look in the same time finished and still in working process, fragile and ephemeras. Mixing kitsch and formalism with a great virtuosity, she introduces a certain kind of humor in the thematic of the contemporary artistic complexity.

"Rachel Harrison’s work draws from a wide range of influence, wittily combining art historical and pop cultural references through a diverse play of materials. In Nose, Harrison’s figure towers on a cardboard box plinth as an abject gargoyle, adorned with a plastic joke shop nose. Grotesque and funny, Harrison’s humor derives from its carefully structured, yet open-ended suggestion, each element building up to a plausible punch line. Using visual language as a subversive tool, Harrison parodies expected comparison to artists such as Franz West and Paul McCarthy, appropriating styles and motifs with subtle knowingness, wielding artistic process as a mode of investigation."

The plasticity of the work isn’t beautiful, but we get attracted to it because of its singular materiality. Using wood, polystyrene, cement, acrylic and rubber, the execution gives the impression of a melting sculpture, always in movement, like it is falling apart. A tension towards the floor is suggested; we feel the world he is creating is all soft. Besides, the use of bright colors reinforces the idea of a fake world, ‘Play Doh’ like:  the artist plays with our view, our conception and it’s pleasant to play his game.

Consider the Lobster is curated by Tom Eccles, and results from a collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery in London where the exhibition will be on view from April 27 through June 20, 2010.

[Visual : Rachel Harrison, Entitled, mixed media, 2009]

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John Lester 06/21/2009 09:48

Nice blog.