Curated by Alhena Katsof
Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to present the two-person exhibition, Earth Minutes with artwork by Laura Aldridge and Lee Maida, in the 535 West 22nd Street gallery. Aldridge and Maida’s three-dimensional works evidence an interest in color, the legacy of images and the malleable, textured life of material. The exhibition embraces these works as conduit-vessels, which transmit the labor of creative process (built, pressed, cut, stitched, thought, imagined, analyzed, read, touched). In the artists’ work, ‘material’ can be understood in triple-form: as textile, as a substance from which an artwork is made, and as a subject of inquiry. The latter, compiled from a field of references, including the figure, feminism and the history of art. Earth Minutes is assembled like a Surrealist poem to accentuate the interplay between shapes, content and desire, as they resonate throughout the show.
Laura Aldridge’s freestanding and wall mounted sculptures are reminiscent of upright bodies with arms widespread. They bring to mind images of people carrying protest banners or perhaps wearing sandwich boards, large flags on a windless day or laundered clothes draped over a line. The banners are composed of vibrant fabrics in colors such as electric orange, saturated lavender and minty green. These wide sheaths are then suspended across a thin tube of wood or plastic acrylic, which hangs from a tall, slender metal pole. When light comes through the porous material it illuminates the ‘moves’ that the artist has made – cutting out sections of cloth to create pockets of translucency or sewing together layers for increased opacity. This mode of assemblage is prevalent throughout Aldridge’s work and extends to her use of images, which she prints directly onto the fabric. Using a combination of found images and her own photographs, Aldridge mutates fingers, stone pots, plants, pear trees and faces into hyper-real flotsam of home/studio life. The exhibition also features Aldridge’s gleaming sculptures made of glass vessels, filled to the brim with dyed rice and stacked one over the other. Each glass tower is topped with an emergent lump of fluidly molded, bisque fired clay. The ceramics are oceanic and unadorned. Through an exploration of scale, form and posture, as they manifest in her materials, Aldridge elicits a unique, visceral proximity between the viewer and her work.
Lee Maida’s reliefs are equally fluent in the language of sculpture and painting, though they hardly seem bothered by either one. Laid out across the floor or pressed up against the wall, they consist of layers of ripped textiles (faux leather, rubbery vinyl and electric or moldy colored cotton blends come to mind), which are held in place by hardware store nails. The nails do two jobs at once, temporarily securing the layers of fabric, as well as plates of thin, undulating kiln-dried clay. The fabrics’ many colors are revealed through slits and rips that run the length of each piece while the ceramic forms have been molded and sliced, then pinned on top of or laid out across the fabric sheaths. These works are made from a composite of image possibilities: specific references to a particular painting’s content, color and mark making; generalized image grabs from magazines and blogs; impulsive and personal pictures from the artists’ own archive. Mashed together, they tug on our psyche. They are screwball and familiar in equal measure. In tandem with the reliefs, the artist creates drawings, watercolors and sculptural assemblages that flesh out the different aspects of any given subject. For the show, Maida’s suite of works, are drawn from her observations of Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe. Compressing aspects of the painting together with randomly generated images of lunch in the grass, she creates yet another humorous tableau.
Laura Aldridge (b.1978, Frimley) lives and works in Glasgow. UK. Aldridge’s most recent solo exhibitions include Openaries (in collaboration with Anna Mayer) commissioned by Glasgow International, Glasgow (2014); Things Held Inside//The New Sea, Kendall Koppe, Glasgow (2012); LAxLA, Milagro Allegro Community Gardens, Los Angeles, (2012); Underside, backside, inside, even, CCA, Glasgow (2012); and at Studio Voltaire, London (2011). Her most recent group projects include Wearing Potentiality (curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini), The Basement at Paradise Row, London (2014); Out of Doors, Supplement, London; The Cat Show (curated by Rhonda Lieberman), White Columns, New York; Laura Aldridge & Sara Barker & Sue Tompkins, Shane Campbell Gallery / Lincoln Park Space, Chicago; Every Day, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (all 2013). She is preparing for her largest institutional show to date at Tramway, Glasgow (2015). She was recipient of the Glasgow Life Craft Award in 2011.
New York based artist Lee Maida was born in Brideport, Connecticut. She has had solo exhibitions at Ed. Varie, New York (2012) and ACP/Parker Jones, Los Angeles (2010). Maida has participated in numerous group shows at venues such as Joe Sheftel, New York; Andrew Edlin, New York; Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles; Silvershed, New York; SOMArts, San Fransciso; Taxter & Spengeman, New York. Upcoming exhibitions include "Changing Table" at Kate Werble, cuated by Jody Graf and "Couplings" at Taylor Macklin, curated by Piper Marshall. Maida is currently an artist-in-residence at Abrons Art Center.