Tag Archive | Claire Oliver Gallery

Matthew Sleeth, Rules to Live By at Claire Oliver Gallery

It Was All a Dream
All Photos By Gail

Claire Oliver Gallery is currently hosting Rules to Live By, new works from Australian artist Matthew Sleeth. This is Sleeth’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery.

Installation View 2

In Rules to Live By, Sleeth seeks to draw attention to how signs program us to behave in a prescribed manner. By adopting their form and aesthetic while misappropriating their ideology, the artist has constructed a series of sculptural works that question the dogma of a politically correct society.

The Revolution

With this new body of work, the artist suggests we delve beyond superficiality for a deeper meaning in life. The texts featured in these works are sourced from a combination of found, combined, appropriated or completely invented signs or instructions.

You Can Do Anything

Rules to Live By builds directly from Sleeth’s pivotal 2011 installation, The Rise and Fall of Western Civilization (And Other Obvious Metaphors), which was also exhibited at Claire Oliver. The Rise and Fall encompased a 120 foot, three-ton concrete and plywood sculpture, representing a freeway system arcing through space (and rising from knee height to over 12 feet in the air) with a road surface populated with various signs, images and objects. Inspired by the public response to the messages portrayed in that installation, Sleeth choose to expand on the irony of the impact mass media has on the population at large.

Guns Dont Kill People

Sleeth explains, “Over many years, I have explored concepts of ‘algorithmic control’ in my work. I have been particularly interested in signs as a cultural iconography; I am both seduced by their elegance and uneasy with their Orwellian effectiveness.”

Happiness Equals Expectation Over Achievement

“These roadmaps of sorts are the rules we live by; they are the software that controls the way we negotiate our environment. I have long been fascinated by these sets of instructions that hold such sway over us. Why is it so difficult to ignore a sign?”

You Get the Art You Deserve

The contested behaviors being negotiated in each sign are either encouraged or discouraged by the assumptions embedded or coded in the text. Many of the conventions explored in these works depend on a range of cultural assumptions in order to function. Part of the rationale of this project is to make these assumptions visible through the process of pattern recognition within and between the insignias.

Will My Children, This City

The images in Rules We Live By appropriate the formal qualities and exacting methods of fabrication of their cultural referents. The viewer is meant to recognize the codes of persuasion being used in each work and how these refer to the social contexts from which they are drawn.

Nobody Really Cares

Owl
Matthew Sleeth Signage

Matthew Sleeth’s Rules to Live By will be on Exhibit Through December 3rd, 2016 at Claire Oliver Gallery, Located at 513 West 26th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

I Want A Pony

Installation View

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Claire Oliver Presents Beth Cavener Stichter's Come Undone

The Adoration
Adoration By Beth Cavener Stichter

On the same evening that we visited Bethany Marchman’s collection of anthropomorphic animal oil paintings, we saw a remarkable exhibit from a sculptor exploring similar themes.

Come Undone, the new body of work by Beth Cavener Stichter, features large-scale works made from clay. Cavener Stichter cajoles the viewer into looking at the darker side of the human condition by cloaking it in animal skin. Her subjects elicit empathy, expressing complex emotions and relationships while permitting us to finally examine humanity closely enough to fully consider it — and to connect on a rare personal level.

The Adoration Detail

A life-sized sculpture of a lamb makes for an unexpected chandelier, lit from within and suspended from the ceiling.

L'Amante
L’Amante

A sensuous hare dangles a tattooed leg suggestively over the edge of its sculpture stand, all the while sustaining the piercing eye contact Cavener Stichter’s works are known to possess. Each work heightens our visual interest while dramatizing states of grace, fear, desperation and beauty.

L'Amante Detail
L’Amante (Detail)

The White Hind (The Bride)
The White Hind (The Bride) reminded us very much of This Piece.

In Bocca al Lupo

In Bocca al Lupo (We call it Wolf with Pink Vomit)

Each piece is testimony to Cavener Stichter’s truly innovative studio practice. While the properties of her chosen medium enable her an eloquence of form and surface unavailable through other media, she pushes the process further through a construction both delicate and time consuming. She begins with a solid block of terra cotta, taking care to create her signature “painterly” sweeping strokes in the clay. She then cuts the work into small, manageable sections re-work and re-articulate the musculature, skin, and fur. The next step is to painstakingly hollow out each section until it is very thin and thus fires to an extreme strength. After the kiln, she re-assembles the pieces and paints the finished work.

While the Come Undone exhibit takes up the main floor gallery, downstairs you’ll find a diverse collection of pieces by other Claire Oliver represented artists, which is just another reason a visit to this gallery is always enjoyable.

Beth Cavener Stichter’s Come Undone will be on Exhibit until October 20th, 2012 at The Claire Oliver Gallery, Located at 513 West 26th Street (Street Level) New York City.

Stephanie Lempert’s Reconstructed Reliquaries at Claire Oliver Gallery

Even if you’re a jaded art scenester who thinks he’s seen every kind of art on the planet, I’d venture a guess that you’ve not seen anything like the sculptures of Stephanie Lempert that make up Reconstructed Reliquaries; the latest exhibit at Claire Oliver Gallery in Chelsea. For Reconstructed Reliquaries, Lempert interviewed close to 100 people from all walks of life, exploring the rationale behind the reasons certain memories stay with us and why we form attachments to particular objects. Lempert has created a truly unique way to explore the intertwined nature of cherished mementos and the childhood reminiscences that make them precious. The Artist consolidates the narratives held in the memory of the storytellers and connects them to a single inanimate object that they hold dear. Known primarily as a photographer and video artist, Lempert takes the next logical step in her studio practice by incorporating three-dimensional works to consolidate her concepts.

The artist realized the sculptures for Reconstructed Reliquaries by adding on thin layer by thin layer of nylon-based plastic, creating a work of art that is only recently technologically possible. Using a three-dimensional stereoscopic printing process, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Lempert uses the actual handwriting of the storytellers to create the sculpture itself; the subjects’ own words make their memories tangible objects. Infusing these icons with human emotions, Lempert weaves stories, literally and figuratively reconstructing memories in such a way as to create a repository for the next generation’s hopes and dreams; the sculpture she has created becomes the touchstones of the very words they embrace.

Reconstructed Reliquaries consists of fifteen sculptures including a kitchen knife, a birdcage, chess board, globe and a plush bunny, among others. The full scale chess board tells the story of a man who, as a little boy, spent summers with his beloved grandfather. The grandfather taught him to play chess and, year by year, the boy grew in his abilities until the day he could beat his grandfather at the game. It was a very proud day for both of them. Another sculpture, a size 8 stiletto pump, tells the story of a little girl looking up at her beautiful mother getting ready to go out to a party. The child could not wait for the day that she herself would be allowed to wear such amazing shoes; they would make her graceful, sexy, statuesque and so powerful.

I imagine anyone would have a very personal experience looking at these beautiful objects and wondering about the life of the person whose words and memories helped to create them. Do make a point to see Reconstructed Reliquaries before it closes on May 7, 2011.

Claire Oliver Gallery is Located at 513 West 26th Street, New York City. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

The Pipe Cleaner Art of Don Porcella


Artist Don Porcella and Geoffrey – Cute! (Image Source)

Do you remember doing arts and crafts back in elementary school, and the teacher would give you a handful of colored pipe cleaners and you were supposed to make art out of them? I think I used to make stick people or stick dogs or a stick house, just meaningless crap, really. But you know, it was fun to twist those colored pipe cleaners and imagine you were making some kind of neat thing that your Mom would think was cool enough to tack onto the family fridge. Nostalgia! Well guess what, some people actually have enough talent and imagination make real actual art of out pipe cleaners. One of those individuals is artist Don Porcella, who Geoffrey and I had the pleasure to meet this past Saturday evening when we were gallery hopping in Chelsea.

Over at the Claire Oliver Gallery (located at 513 West 26th Street) Don has a bunch of his tiny pipe cleaner sculptures on display upstairs plus one life-sized work entitled An Art Dealer and his Artist, which depicts an art dealer with a pet artist (Don) on a leash. Clever!

Geoffrey and I spent some time talking to Don and he is super friendly and nice. Don explained that the Artist sculpture (on display in the downstairs gallery) is made out of 25,000 woven pipe cleaners! It should be on display through late June. You can see more of Don’s art, which is really cool and fun, on his blog, Don Porcella Blogspot. Thanks Don for being awesome!

Don Also Made These Pipe Cleaner Sneakers!