Larissa Goldston Gallery is pleased to present Hootenanny, the second solo exhibition in New York of work by Lauren Clay. The exhibition will be on view from October 29th through December 19th. There will be an opening reception for the artist on October 29th from 6 to 8 pm.|
Departing from her previous interest in modernist and urban utopias, Hootenanny explores the amalgamated nature of contemporary cultural and spiritual identity. These sculptures utilize formal devices and tropes of Modernist, Eastern, and metaphysical dialogues with infinity, drawing on physical and ephemeral structures built to frame the vastness of the universe. Constructed primarily from papier-mâché and painted paper, the pieces themselves are as ephemeral and temporal as the subjects they address.
The exhibition consists of freestanding, leaning, and wall-mounted sculptures that reference a plethora of cultural conceptions of the infinite. While some works explore the tradition of monochrome painting as portals to the void, others refer to Asian and religious motifs relating to the self-generating cosmos—rocks, octagons, and the repetitive patterns of latticework. Reminiscent of Clay’s previous interest in fecundity, the surfaces of many of the works display bulging topographies, which seem to drip from their forms.
One way ticket into the nirvana thickets (tunnel funnel cornucopia), a wall-mounted sculpture, features a tunnel-like opening constructed from octagonal elements which recede into the center of the sculpture. This vortex reinforces the idea of portals and framing the void, a recurring theme in this body of work. It also has associations with transformation, the eternity of death as well as never-ending time and space.
The large freestanding sculpture dominating the south room, Totem for Grotto Heavens Hootenanny, directly references Chinese scholars’ rocks, seers’ stones, and the philosopher’s stone. In all these referents, the rocks are a gateway, either for heightened meditation, philosophical thought, transforming objective reality, or to communicate with the metaphysical sphere.
The title of the exhibition, Hootenanny, is an Appalachian colloquialism used primarily in the early twentieth century to refer not only to celebrations but also to things whose names were forgotten or unknown. Clay’s title aptly describes the ebulliently colored nature of the works as well as their unfamiliar combination of amorphous and hard-edged geometrical elements, finite forms constructed to pull the viewer into unknown and infinite realms.
Larissa Goldston Gallery is located at 530 W 25th Street, 3rd floor. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am – 6pm. For more information, please contact the gallery at 212-206-7887 or visit www.larissagoldston.com.