This Summer, Flowers Gallery New York is pleased to present 'No Lemon No Melon', opening July 27th, 2017.
No Lemon No Melon brings together eight international artists whose work uses mirroring and layering to reveal structures and patterns present in the surrounding world. Through diverse practices of photography, sculpture and video, the artists approach physical and psychological interactions with commonplace materials and natural phenomena by applying transformative processes of layering, reflection, distortion and repetition. From sculptures that respond to the effects of light, air and gravity to attempts at mimicking or altering the natural world and patterns of behaviour, each implies the notion of a nuanced truth. Reflecting the palindromic title, the works in No Lemon No Melon address the unstable and subjective activity of identifying and manipulating meaning and order within our everyday lives.
Mark Dorf’s prints and sculptures from the Transposition series address the human impulse to categorize and compartmentalize material existence in terms of oppositions: landscape and city; digital and physical; chaos and harmony. Transposition explores these perceived binaries as a spectrum, revealing the influences between the material languages of landscape, urbanity, and technology. ‘Nature’ is found in fake rocks placed on plywood shelves covered in artificial grass, accompanied by houseplants and bottled water illuminated by fluorescent lights, and images of botanical gardens, dissected into distinct color-separated planes via digital means. These elements are supported by leaning architectural forms (a physical layering of plywood and planes of glass that relates to the layers in digital image-manipulation), placed in dialogue with the surrounding room and their further-reaching urban context.
Scarlett Hooft Graafland’s Drop Your Darlings depicts an arrangement of translucent balloons, scattered and mirrored across the surface of the prehistoric Lake Minchin, Bolivia, from which almost all water has evaporated. Encompassing analogue photographic practice, performance and sculpture, her photographs emphasize the ‘natural strangeness’ of the landscape with uncanny juxtapositions of everyday objects and materials, reflecting an exchange between the boundless realm of nature and the relative confines of culture. She says: “I often want to capture an essential aspect of the local community and set it off against the surrounding natural environment... By showing isolated, culturally meaningful objects in the context of an untamable, ever changing natural world, I try to relate to the essential experience of being.”
Antipodes, a video by Nicolas K Feldmeyer, records a drop of honey on a garden table, which has attracted a small army of ants. By converting the video to black and white, the honey becomes invisible, leaving the ants to perform their mysterious and highly organized dance around a circular void. He says: “I have long been fascinated by geometry and the sense of order reflected both in man-made and natural structures. The sense of meaningfulness and beauty recognized in order, even though its purpose might escape us, is something at the core of many of my works.” The title is a play on words, also referring to the concept of two diametrically opposed (antipodal) points on the surface of the earth, connected by a straight line. The small viewing format of the ipad screen set flat on a plinth requires the viewer to look down at the work, thus re-enacting the artist’s stance during its production.
Karilee Fuglem’s Holding You As Steady As I Can, is a mobile sculpture with a membrane sensitive to waves of available light and air. Delicate and subtle, it requires that the viewer slows down to witness the tremors caused by the slightest breath of passing air, and to observe the mirroring of light onto the adjacent wall. Karilee says: “Things that move when we move affect our understanding of what we see by feeling as much as looking, if only because the displaced air that sets them adrift also touches our skin… Every surface, from our skin to the walls around us, is reflective but we’re so used to this we need to be surprised back into grasping its basic wonder.”
Tom Lovelace works at the intersection of photography, sculpture and performance, with a practice grounded in interruptions and reinventions of everyday matter, materials and processes. Site 407, a set of five photographs made in 2008, depicts a landscape that Lovelace reshaped and reconstructed into a repeated sequence of wells and mounds over three months, in a solitary performance using a shovel. The result is a constructed landscape without function, created purely for the camera and accessible only through the resulting photographs. The wall-mounted work titled Jim brings together photography and sculpture. Encased in what appears to be a hard-edged utilitarian airvent is an illuminated image depicting a sundog (also known as a parhelion, consisting of glowing spots around the sun.) The layers in the work are both physical (viewers are required to peer into and through the facade of the work) and philosophical, addressing both the materials rooted in the ground and those situated in the sky.
Colette Robbins’ Archaeological Fiction series is inspired by the iconography of archaeology, neuroscience, psychology, and the mining of her personal history. Influenced by klecksography (creating images through inkblots) and the well-known psychological test, the Rorschach inkblot test, Archaeological Fiction mirrors the human tendency to seek meaning and patterns in visual data, known as apophenia or patternicity. On view in the exhibition are 3D-printed ‘totem’ sculptures from Robbins’ archive of symbolic images and objects. An avid rock collector, the sculptures are created using her photographs of their various shapes, which are manipulated using digital sculpting software, inviting a subjective reading of their abstracted symmetrical forms.
The sculptures from Derrick Velasquez’s Untitled Series question our physical and psychological interactions with industrially manufactured materials. Untitled 165 is an accumulation of hand-cut strips of marine vinyl, stacked and layered to create parallel bands of color. Balanced over rigid wooden forms, the strips respond to the natural forces of gravity, forming an arc or curve with curling edges. Alluding to a structural relationship to the body, they suggest the strata of muscle, tendon and skin forming the organic curves of shoulders, hips, forearms and chest.
In A Biopsy of Time No. 2, Sun Yue attempts to mimic the natural sedimentation of clay. Each day, the artist applied alternate layers of metallic oxide and ceramic mud to a small mound of clay, which she then dissected into sample cross-sections, each slice corresponding as a marker of time. A full cycle of sixteen days is represented by sixteen slices, which increase in size and then diminish, with the last slice on the last day similar to that of the first. She says, “In this way I record my own time. Time repeats, day after day, year after year… sometimes there is the illusion that the past and the future are one, are mirrored, the present feels like yesterday. The way we live is actually closely related to our perception of time. There is no such thing as time without consciousness.”