The artists create work that draws on the context of the Whitney Museum at Altria Gallery and Sculpture Court to construct moments of unexpected transformation and "undoing" of sculpture, photography, and architecture.
In Undone, the perceived completeness of form, space, or identity is defined by its own fragmented, unfinished, or unraveling condition. Commissioned for this exhibition, the works subvert viewers' expectations about medium and exhibition space. By employing often contradictory content, scale, materials, and representation, the artists-Tom Holmes, Tony Matelli, Eileen Quinlan, and Heather Rowe-create work that draws on the context of the Whitney Museum at Altria Gallery and Sculpture Court to construct moments of unexpected transformation and "undoing" of sculpture, photography, and architecture.
The exhibition is organized by Howie Chen, Branch Curatorial Manager, Whitney Museum of America Art at Altria, with Shamim M. Momin, Associate Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Branch Director and Curator, Whitney Museum of America Art at Altria.
Tony Matelli's sculptural installation of hyperrealistic bronze weeds "overgrow" the Gallery, occupying the marginal areas of the exhibition space such as wall corners, fissures in the floor, and gaps around the edges. The monumentality of sculpture and the white box environment is challenged by its own content, form, and representation. At the same time, weeds, often seen as symbols of neglect and surrender, are here the subject and product of intense consideration and labor.
Heather Rowe creates an architectural screen that at once uses and deconstructs the corporate surroundings of the Sculpture Court. Presented as structural fragments, cross sections, and seemingly unfinished structures, Rowe's sculptures address a series of dysfunctions that include unexpected material use, subjective misinterpretation, and unpredictable scale. This fragmentation generated by the work invites the viewer to reframe, or call into question, what he/she knows about formal sculpture.
Eileen Quinlan's photographs of smoke reflected in broken mirrors offer a literal disclosure of practice that is contradicted by their aesthetic opacity. Her ongoing series of Smoke & Mirror, created by photographing broken mirrors reflecting smoke and other materials, presents both complete transparency of process and conceptual opacity. Tom Holmes constructs photosculptural works that mishandle and transmute the medium as a metaphor for the fracturing of identity as a contemporary condition. Situating two converging lengths of chain link fence in the Sculpture Court, he creates a space and a surface for his large-scale photographic collages that are appended to the structure.
Undone is accompanied by a free brochure with special artist contributions by Tom Holmes, Tony Matelli, Eileen Quinlan, and Heather Rowe and essays by Shamim M. Momin and Howie Chen. Free gallery talks are offered every Wednesday and Friday at 1:00 p.m.
The Whitney Museum at Altria is funded by Altria Group, Inc.
Opening: september 20 2007
The Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria
120 Park Avenue, 42nd Street New York