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Small Sculptures

Matthew Marks Gallery (24th)
523 West 24th Street, 212-243-0200
September 23 - October 28, 2006
Reception: Friday, September 22, 6 - 8 PM
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This exhibition includes the work of nine artists: Vija Celmins, Katharina Fritsch, Robert Gober, Martin Honert, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Charles Ray, Dieter Roth, and Paul Thek. Each piece in the exhibition is a singular work that, despite its scale, remains a powerful and compelling object and represents a significant achievement by the artist. Among the works in the exhibition are both new sculptures seen for the first time and older, rarely exhibited works.

Katharina Fritsch, Robert Gober, and Charles Ray are exhibiting new sculptures; Martin Honert will include a work from the late 1990s; and Vija Celmins, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Dieter Roth, and Paul Thek are represented by rare works from the 1960s and 70s.

Katharina Fritsch will be exhibiting an enlarged model of a pistol, cast in resin and painted with powdery black pigment. The sculpture is modeled after a Browning pistol owned by the artist’s father and kept in their home during her youth.

Robert Gober’s sculpture is of a battered, well-used can of white paint. Cast in lead crystal and meticulously hand-painted, this work continues a long artistic tradition of work inspired by studio detritus.

Charles Ray’s Handheld Bird, a sculpture of a bird embryo made of painted steel, continues the play with scale, material, and coloration that has been a hallmark of the artist’s work since the beginning of his career.

Martin Honert’s Ghost, 1998, is a translucent, cast-resin sculpture that the artist describes as “a schematic negative impression of a mummy’s head.” Like the bandages wrapping a mummy, this sculpture hints at the facial features beneath without revealing them.

Vija Celmins’s Puzzle Piece dates from 1966. A solid Plexiglas puzzle enshrined in a fur-lined box-a rare three-dimensional work for Celmins-this sculpture is among the more enigmatic objects within her oeuvre.

Jasper Johns’s Bronze, made in 1960-61, is among his celebrated series of sculptures of light bulbs. It is the only one which represents each constituent part separately: the bulb, socket, and wiring are arranged in a row on an inch-thick plinth.

Ellsworth Kelly’s sculpture is unique in the artist’s oeuvre, the only small-scale freestanding work. Mirrored Concorde, 1970-1971, is a solid piece of highly-polished stainless steel in a trapezoidal shape first developed by the artist in the early 1950s.

Ins Meer, Schimmelberg (Into the Sea, Mold Mountain), by Dieter Roth, dates from 1969. This foot-tall ziggurat of yogurt, chocolate, and other foodstuffs is a classic example of Roth’s work in non-traditional media.

Untitled (Dental Plate #3), 1966, Paul Thek’s sculpture from his series Technological Reliquaries, is a human jaw with a full set of teeth tethered to metallic strings. A response to the prevalence of minimal sculpture, this work is sculpted from wood, brightly painted, and set inside a vitrine like a specimen from a pre-modern age.
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