Foley Gallery is pleased to present Off the Pedestal, an exhibition featuring the work of Manuel Caeiro, Mike Jackson, Simon Schubert, and Jerry Birchfield. While sculpture is not the primary medium of these artists, each uses architectural forms and monochromatic elements within their work as a movement toward the abstraction of architecture and space. Employing diverse visual illusions with paint, photographs, paper, and light, the work makes us reevaluate what can be considered sculpture. This exhibition explores how artists use sculpture within their non-sculptural medium to question concepts of materiality, perception, and truth.
Portuguese artist Manuel Caeiro works within the traditional painting medium, while his creations and their meanings are anything but. The representation of architectural forms, produced through repetition and overlapping paint layers, fuse sculptural elements and syncopation of spatial modulations. His large-scale paintings of fractured architecture produce a disruption of logic. Based on theories of Derridean deconstruction, Caeiro uses detailed and duplicated forms to question the truthfulness of memory and the visual fidelity of painting. His rhythmic works invite us to peer into fictitious and magical realities, where the meaning could just as easily be in the center as on the edge.
Using traditional darkroom processes with minimal equipment, British artist Mike Jackson creates the illusion of geometric sculptures using just controlled light. Often the work is revealed to the artist himself only upon its last stage of development, requiring Jackson to apply the practice of afterimage memory, relying on drawn guidelines for accurate placement. Jackson creates a distinct camera-less aesthetic by viewing silver gelatin paper as two-dimensional clay shaped by directed light or as a “bell jar ready to be filled” with emotional responses to subjects. His sculptures of light merge the real with the fantastical, pushing photography into a world of three-dimensionality.
Continuing a lifetime project that began at the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf, Simon Schubert’s new folded paper series creates fictional and intricate architectural interiors. His sculptural rooms appear slowly and then all at once out of the plain white paper, relying on the light that falls on the paper’s creases. Emerging from the hypnotic interactions between shadow and light, mirrors arise from inside mirrors, and doorways appear from further doorways. Walls, staircases, and light pouring through the room’s windows are perceivable upon a close inspection of his complex paper sculptures.
American artist Jerry Birchfield explores themes of representation, spectatorship, and viewer participation using a vast array of techniques including photography, darkroom processes, digital media, inkjet printing, drawing, sculpture, installation, and collaborative performance. His work examines how the materiality of a work in a given space changes, reaffirms, unfolds, and re-layers its meaning. Starting with fragmented debris of materials generated by studio events, he then pours, amasses, reconstructs, presents, photographs, traces, trims, builds up, and disassembles them. After framing and imaging, the final work results in a collaboration between the materials used and the actions performed within the studio space.
Off the Pedestal is on view through May 27th, 2023. Foley Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, 12 – 5:30 PM. To request images, please get in touch with the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org.