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Pam Lins, Owl

Rachel Uffner Gallery
47 Orchard Street, 212-274-0064
East Village / Lower East Side
January 4 - February 8, 2009
Reception: Sunday, January 4, 6 - 8 PM
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Rachel Uffner Gallery is pleased to present a show of new sculptures by Pam Lins. In the gallery, Lins will present a series of works all made using a distinct sculptural template: a vertical plywood pedestal with one striped side, a sunken corner with or without a plaster owl, and a painting on top.

Seeking to investigate some of the bedrock assumptions of sculpture itself, Lins’s work still retains a fundamental physical immediacy. The essential inability to view sculpture from all sides at once is stressed in these multifaceted works, as are the cumulative cognitive and retinal effects produced by the viewer’s movement from one sculpture to the next. The works begin by employing the basic sculptural predicament of pedestal and base, only to rapidly veer off-course into an amalgamation of genres, formal punch lines, and an optical, vibrating used of color and pattern. In choosing to put paintings in the work, Lins investigates sculpture itself, through the disruption of painting’s pictorial, historical and spatial position. Her non-hierarchical objects reassert the democracy of their various components, and emphasize the holistic aspects of the viewing experience that these liminal sculptures evoke en masse.

Lins’s owls are modeled after one that is carved into an external wall of the medieval Notre Dame church in Dijon that the artist considers a perfect public sculpture: the owl is rubbed for good luck by passerby in a future-oriented, collectively witnessed ritual. The sculptures’ stripe scheme not only invokes familiar patterns of the popular imagination, such as those on Barack Obama’s ties or 1970’s Hang Ten shirts, but also the headily disorienting reaction often experienced when facing the canvases of artists such as Bridget Riley or Kenneth Noland. The category of painting is examined more generally in the wood panels on top of the pedestals: straddling the line between abstraction and representation, they offer painting as both an object within sculpture as well as a discrete project central to the artist’s studio practice. Ultimately, Lins’s work is both imperialist and generous – voraciously consuming much that is outside it, only to offer the multifarious results as situations to be explored by the viewer.

Pam Lins has shown her work in many diverse venues. She was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as a Howard Foundation Fellowship from Brown University. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
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