BUIA Gallery is pleased to present Structured Settlement, an exhibition of new sculpture by Tom Fruin. In keeping with his tradition of working with found urban detritus, Fruin expands his vocabulary beyond his popular ‘drug bag flags’ to the landscape from which they emerged. In Structured Settlement, Fruin presents obsessively constructed tenements, factories, office buildings, and apartment buildings made from found signage and metal. Creating the works on a human scale and presenting them on extended arms for scrutiny, Fruin reverses the dominance these structures usually exert over their inhabitants and surrounding community.
With this new body of sculptural works, Fruin expands the scope of his commentary while retaining a similar sensibility to the stitched drug bag pieces. The new works exhibit a labored quality, highlighting detail and perfection. Regular intervals of rivets recall the zig-zag stitching joining the discarded drug bags. The scarred and obviously used surfaces of Fruin’s pallet of metal materials reveal their histories in the same way that the found detritus of public parks and housing projects belie the activities of the inhabitants. At times, Fruin completely transforms the sheet metal, as in the pizza factory series in which he removed the signage from a defunct pizza deli in his neighborhood to construct sculptures reminiscent of factories and industrial buildings. In other works, solely the details communicate the substance of the idea as in cabinet tenement, 2008 in which he adorns a filing cabinet with the single addition of found discarded corner molding from a tin ceiling, suggesting roof ornamentation on the reverse of the still dusty metal box. What fruin ultimately presents is rarified and constructed version of his city surroundings, filtered through a unique lens in which the discarded becomes precious both for its communicative ability and the hidden beauty contained within.
Tom Fruin is a Brooklyn based artist who has shown extensively both in the U.S. and internationally. Recent shows include solo exhibition hastle whitey at Galerie Bertrand & Gruner in Geneva, Over + Over: Passion for Process at the Austin Museum of Art, and Almost Art at the Slought Foundation in Philadelphia. Recent press includes reviews in The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The New York Post, Artnews, Flash Art, Flaunt, and Blackbook. We are pleased to present Structured Settlement, Tom Fruin’s third New York solo exhibition.