Robert Grosvenor at Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
From February 10th through March 17th, 2018, Paula Cooper Gallery will present an exhibition of work by Robert Grosvenor at 521 West 21st Street. Known primarily as a sculptor, Grosvenor has eluded artistic categorization during his more than fifty-year career, producing diverse, singular works that explore the spatial dynamics between object, architecture, and viewer. The exhibition will include a recent large-scale sculpture as well as a selection of works on paper. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, February 10th from 6 to 8 pm.
On view in the main space of the gallery is the large-scale sculpture, Untitled, created in 2016. Comprised of two separate, freestanding constructions, the installation occupies one half of the room, drawing the viewer in to investigate its wide expanse. The larger element consists of two rectangular plywood bases supporting a pair of steel pipes laid horizontally so as to bridge their foundations. Projected upright from each end are aluminum poles, which erect elliptical-shaped planes of Plexiglas, sanded to a semiopaque milky white. A second structure consists of eight steel pipes welded at right angles to form an open box-frame. Stretched across the top, a sagging sheet of yellowed fiberglass falls with a downward concavity that counters the raised aeronautic trajectory of the installation’s larger piece.
Assembled using common construction materials, the work evokes a sense of pragmatic utility and structural engineering—and yet on close inspection reveals labored, handmade elements. Covered with a painterly layer of pastel acrylic, the plywood bases have been veneered so as to smooth their seams and obscure material connotations. Their discernable gestural brushstrokes parallel other interventions such as coarse welding, irregular contours, and inscribed sanding marks—each indicating the artist’s hand. Existing in this polysemic, ambiguous state, the work resists specific metaphorical readings, functioning instead as reflexive presentation of corresponding elements. Its resolute stillness counters an effective geometric dynamism that places the viewer in a shifting space that is at once both familiar and abstruse.
at Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
until 17 March 2018