letha wilson, badlands concrete bend, 2011, 31”x 25” x 2”, unique c-print, concrete, wood frame
toomer labzda is proud to present its second group exhibition featuring new works by Aude Pariset, Kate Steciw and Letha Wilson, curated by David Harper. This exhibition focuses on the work of three artists who, despite their often radically different methodologies and disparate materials, continue to explore the untapped artistic potentialities of photographic imagery through the creation of sculpture. Departing from their two-dimensional sources, this transformational process gives each the ability to create new spatial relationships, to impart materiality on the immaterial and to attempt to challenge the existent visual language of photography.
Aude Pariset’s work evolves from an interest in exploring computer-generated images printed onto organic surfaces. In FX Tridanca, she molds rice paper affixed with imagery appropriated from the now-defunct all-male, new media collective ‘Paint FX’, into the form of large seashells. Pariset also explores the gestures of graffiti in her latest series, using a process of subtractive drawing; with clear fixative she ‘tags’ an inkjet print (taken directly from the default of her printer) and subsequently washes off the image from the non-waterproof (non-‘tagged’) paper. For Pariset, both the digital “paint brush” originally used to create the imagery in FX Tridanca and the graffiti gestures share the paradox of simultaneously being artistic expressions yet remaining nonspecific and endlessly repeatable.
Incorporating collage and everyday, mundane objects into intangible, abstract images, Kate Steciw desires her work, as she has stated, to “move beyond the two-dimensional and exist in three and four-dimensional spaces, or even implied spaces.” Her dynamic new multimedia photographic and sculptural works were created as a response to the overabundance of materials, products and technology available for human consumption – specifically sourced from the internet. However, rather than becoming an act of protest against consumerism, Steciw’s interest lies in re-contextualizing and reframing these familiar, often domestic forms to create strange and somewhat humorous constructions.
Unlike Pariset and Steciw, Wilson’s works begin with a traditional, analog, photographic image. Through processes such as cutting, splicing, bending, or layering, Wilson’s sculptural interventions attempt to compensate for the original image’s failure to accurately reproduce the specific sites they portray. In her most recent new body of work, Wilson encases images of the American landscape into layers of poured concrete. Creating visual dissonance, she merges two-dimensional imagery into a three-dimensional materiality. The natural stratification of the concrete combined with its heavy, solid properties, plays against the depicted physical and ephemeral qualities of the landscape.
Aude Pariset is a French-born artist living and working in Berlin, Germany. She received her MFA from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2007. Her work has been exhibited worldwide including in Brussels, Beijing, Zurich and Malmö. Her second and most recent solo exhibition was held in 2011 at Kwadrat, Berlin. Pariset is also a co-founder of the curatorial platform, Bcc, which emphasizes the use of the Internet to explore the variable conditions by which artwork is authored, circulated and framed, and has facilitated one-evening exhibitions in Berlin, Paris and Richmond, Virginia.
Kate Steciw is an artist living and working in Brooklyn. Born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Steciw received a BA in Sociology from Smith College and an MFA with a concentration in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, though she still dabbles in painting. Her first book, The Strangeness of This Idea was published by Hassla in June 2010. Exhibiting widely, her most recent solo exhibition took place at Primary Photographic Gallery in Summer 2011.
Born in Honolulu, raised in Colorado and currently living and working in Brooklyn, Letha Wilson earned her BFA from Syracuse University, and an MFA from Hunter College in New York. She has shown at many venues including the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Socrates Sculpture Park and the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2009 she was a resident at the Santa Fe Art Institute, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and was nominated for the Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award. In 2011, Wilson was a resident at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska. She will have her first New York solo exhibition in spring 2012 at Higher Pictures.