The unanswerable questions that motivate many cross-disciplinary careers … fall away when the work they generate is any good. That has long since happened with Allan Wexler’s objects and installations. … It is questions of function – and the behaviors it both follows and shapes – that absorb him, an infectious preoccupation. -Nancy Princenthal Art in America
Ronald Feldman Fine Arts will exhibit Breaking Ground by Allan Wexler whose art practice conceptualizes spheres of interests traditionally associated with the field of architecture. Breaking Ground presents three series of multi-media works which combine sculpture, drawing, and photography. The exhibition continues concepts that have engaged the artist for forty-five years: the forms, functions, and meanings of what we build, creating archetypal structures and elaborating them beyond function in metaphysical and conceptual ways. With his newest exhibition, Wexler explores the first marks by humans on the primal landscape as builders – the shovel plunged into the earth lifting earth skyward – signifying our relationship to the natural world.
Featured in the exhibition is a series of hand-worked photo based digital prints of landscapes that depict basic building shapes and landscape interventions, isolated within a monochromatic background. The images hover between the real and poetic and are constructed through an elaborate process that questions the realities of photography and drawing. Wexler begins by sculpting a small scenario which is photographed, then digitally manipulated, and printed in sections which are placed together onto a wood panel. He highlights and re-shades the images with graphite and applies matte and wax finishes, sensualizing the photographic surface. The series was inspired by Leon Battista Alberti’s On the Art of Building in Ten Books, a 15th century treatise that Wexler researched while a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome in 2005.
Two sculptures, Adam’s House in Paradise and Shelter, explore how trees become architecture. Starting with actual trees about six feet tall, Wexler fills in the planes of the negative space of their branches through a complicated process of cutting and gluing, Playing with the relationship of natural and architectural forms, the organic tree branches create a flowing beauty that recalls the groin-vaulted ceilings of Gothic cathedrals.
Tree Branch Transformations, from 1975 but never before exhibited, is a collection of tree twigs catalogued and showcased in boxes the way a child might organize a rock collection. One selection of twigs slowly morph from natural to their painted representation. Others show the transformations from the branch to the I beam or to standardized lumber.
Wexler exhibits and lectures on his work in the fields of art and architecture nationally and internationally. He has been represented by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts since 1985. Recent solo exhibitions were mounted at La Musée Des Beaux-Arts de Rennes, France and the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. Allan Wexler: Early Works on Paper will be exhibited at Schema Projects, Bushwick, Brooklyn, May 9 - June 8, 2014. For more than 25 other exhibitions, see NEWS on www.feldmangallery.com. Wexler teaches in the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City.
In collaboration with Ellen Wexler, Wexler has received numerous public art commissions, including two permanent installations on view in New York City: The Atlantic Terminal Overlook at the Atlantic Terminal and Two Too Large Tables at the Hudson River Park at 29th Street.
A press kit with more information can be found at: http://bit.ly/1eDo9pq
There will be an opening reception on Saturday, March 29th from 6 - 8. For more information contact Varvara Mikushkina (Ronald Feldman Fine Arts) at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 226-3232.