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walnut, paint, steel, reflective fabric, paracord, and street rubble
57" x 80.5" x 62"


"Critic Richard Leslie has observed that a consistent dimension of Lopez’s work “is her continuing efforts to vocalize the ever-present (and one might say) expanding meme of fear, the zeitgeist of our unsettled times.” 5 This is perhaps most manifest in the eponymous installation Ballast & Barricades (2019) created for the ICA. The ensemble is an outgrowth of Lopez’s earlier investigations in House of Cards (2018) and the sculpture Barricade (2018), both on display as discrete artworks and incorporated within the larger installation. Disparate materials associated with an urban landscape are arranged in delicate assemblages: A piece of street rubble hangs tenuously from a bright paracord employed in parachutes, acting as a counterweight to the slight, skeletal metal formations to which it is attached, while a glass, icicle-like shape underscores the construction’s seeming fragility. Barricade continues the artist’s exploration of balance and counterbalance, but the addition of a barrier also speaks to resistance and containment."

-Alex Klein, curator, Michelle Lopez: Ballast & Barricades, ICA Philadelphia, September 13, 2019, to  May 10, 2020 excerpts from ICA curatorial notes.