House of Cards 2018

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Simon Preston Gallery is delighted to present Michelle Lopez’ fourth exhibition at the gallery, a new sculptural installation comprising of an intricate framework of interlocking steel rope, wrapped lead scaffolding and suspended glass columns. Continuing the artist’s interest in the tension of deflated forms, this fragile House of Cards is at once tenuous and impoverished, re-imagining by hand the apparatus intended for real estate construction, and imbuing these often subsidiary forms with collapse and entropy.

Lopez has evolved her leaning wall sculpture towards a free-standing, Arte Povera-inspired assemblage that is materially defiant and contradictory. In this instance, twisted rope becomes the structural element that supports the larger whole, defying gravity to support metal scaffolding that leans tentatively against it. Elsewhere, found material such as rubble hints at slingshot street protests, fragments of urban decay that, ironically, provide essential support to the work.

The installation assembles many of Lopez’ prior inquiries of material and conceptual themes, questioning the status of objects, in which wilting throne structures and suspended chandeliers are reduced to outlines. Yet, at its core, the work reflects the hand: the rope is twisted manually by the artist, the glass is pulled, and the scaffolding wrapped in lead, implicating the body in every gesture.

Referencing, while contradicting, one of Richard Serra’s iconic works, Lopez’ House of Cards plays within an act of disappearance. The work defies its image in the same manner that Serra proposes, but without its immense weight. The deftness of the installation responds to a maladroit confusion of current events and, in re-working familiar materials with a Giacometti-style verticality, takes on a vocabulary of bankruptcy and demise, while imbuing forms with resilience and strength.

Michelle Lopez: House of Cards, Simon Preston Gallery , January 24 to March 11, 2018 excerpts from the press release.

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HOUSE OF CARDS Installation
pure  lead, steel, pulled glass, silver, tin, paracord, and street rubble
Simon Preston Gallery, New York
2017
ROPE'S END
pure lead, steel, street rubble, paracord and pulled glass cane

2017
ROPE'S END IV
pure lead, steel, pulled glass, silver, tin and yellow paracord

2017
STEALTH
pure lead, steel, pulled glass, silver, tin, black paracord and street rubble

2017
VENTRILOQUIST I
pure lead, steel, pulled glass, silver, tin and black paracord

2017
WATCHTOWER I
pure lead, stel pulled glass, silver, tin, orange paracord, and rubble

2017
VENTRILOQUIST II
pure lead, steel, pulled glass, silver, tin and black paracord

2017
SIGN/SCREEN
pure lead and steel

2018
PROCESS NOTES
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My 2018 installation constructed an abject, spare scaffolding system on the verge of collapse (House of Cards, Simon Preston Gallery) based on a growing unease with the current political climate. The Arte Povera installation weaves together unlikely rigid materials: hand-twisted steel rope and tendrilled-lead covering vine-like scaffolding. The structures co-habitate and lean upon one another for support. Some stand entirely on suspended colored paracord, weighted down and delicately balanced with found street rubble and debris.  This installation was constructed in the spirit of 3-D line drawing and is suffused with contradiction throughout: for example, rope takes on a structural function in supporting the scaffolding, rubble is suspended as a form of resistance and even of hope, choreographed with a means to balance. I pull hot glass to continue the line of drawing and coat it with mirrored silver nitrate so that the points and space between each material, including the air between, vibrates. The glass becomes yet another drawn, suspended figure and its transparency, as with all the material, animates the space of absence between. I want the viewer to identify spatially withthe collapse but also imagine a redemptive, strange logic out of the impossible moment.

-Manually pulling molten glass makes a line drawing. A coat of mirrored silver nitrate is then applied at points, creating tension at the intersection of metal, silver, and glass. The cord hanging the glass results in a ghostly, suspended object analogous to the psychological remnant of a lynching.

-Sculptural activation of space through the use of scaffolding and different materials that balance resistance, tension, and delicate mechanisms on the verge of collapse.

No items found.