Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new sculpture by Michelle Segre.
Segre’s previous sculptural exhibitions have included natural objects, such as mushrooms or cacti, enlarged to a massive scale, making them appear abstract and surreal. However, in this body of work, the artist uses the natural world as a mere starting point, allowing her subconscious to transform and mutate objects and images from everyday life. The result is a grouping of six biomorphic forms that exist somewhere between the abstract and the figurative, unclassifiable as animal, vegetable or mineral. Constructed mainly of papier-mâché, foam and beeswax, these works reference the human psyche and the cycles of disintegration and regeneration inherent in nature.
Calling to mind the fantastical works of Odilon Redon, three of Segre’s sculptures contain a single protruding eye, rendered in acute anatomical detail. Confronting the viewer with their pitiful staring eyes, these creatures could be the physical manifestation of human emotions such as anxiety, apprehension and doubt. Sitting in pools of brightly colored beeswax that seemingly ooze from their foundation, they appear vulnerable and overwhelmed by a pathological sense of self-awareness. The works are unified by a singular sculpture nearly seven feet tall that towers over the others with an alluring color palette of crimson, orange and lime green. On one side of this piece, petal-like folds evoke a fleshy sensuousness. On the other side, a deep red starburst seems to radiate energy to the surrounding sculptures. Walking among these otherworldly beings, the viewer feels caught in the forces, motives and psychological energy generated by human needs.
Michelle Segre lives and works in New York. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Tang Teaching Museum, The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center and The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. This will be her second solo show with the gallery.