Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present new sculpture by David Kennedy Cutler.
As an artist whose studio is situated above the Greenpoint Oil Spill, the largest urban oil spill in history, Kennedy Cutler embraces materials fashioned by petroleum—he considers it as his primary local natural resource (albeit a metaphysical one) amidst an isolated industrial environment of warehouses and former factories. To make these sculptures, he creates molds, lines them with plastic sheeting, pours epoxy resin, then integrates elements ranging from clear and tinted plexiglas, acrylic printer’s process ink, photographs of oil rainbows on wet asphalt, smashed compact discs, and recycled motor oil. The results are incandescent towers of shattered beauty.
The modeled undulations of the poured epoxy resin and manipulated plastics interact with light, filtering and distorting it, and destabilizing the sculptures’ solidity. This material allows Kennedy Cutler to capture the gestures of his process in hardened sculptural form while giving the appearance of things created through seeping, spreading or sedimentation. Roland Barthes writes that “Plastic is the very idea of its infinite transformation…Plastic remains impregnated throughout with this wonder: it is less a thing than the trace of a movement.” It is no coincidence that plastics share the name of Greek shepherds (polystyrene, polyvinyl, polyethylene), or that the largely forgotten term for physical manipulation of form was once called “The Plastic Arts.” The sculptures preserve incidents, actions, un-doings, and the myriad transformations that occur as Kennedy Cutler grapples with them.
With the progressive tow of digitalization, Kennedy Cutler posits that there is a defiant need to reemphasize the physical in the world while addressing aesthetic changes as a result of the navigation of digital spaces. In Kennedy Cutler’s work damage and material distress are strategies of renewal that allow for a reengagement with the skin and viscera of daily experience. These sculptures engage both the corporeal and the aesthetics of our age of plastics and technological ephemera; they act simultaneously as artifacts and as chemical totems of a propositional future.
David Kennedy Cutler lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. His work has been included in exhibitions at Kate Werble Gallery, New York, Nice & Fit, Berlin, Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, D’Amelio Terras, New York, and Portugal Arte ’10, Lisbon amongst others. This will be his second exhibition with the gallery.