October 3, 2017 - SculptureCenter - Nicola L.: Works, 1968 to the Present / Kelly Akashi: Long Exposure
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October 3, 2017

SculptureCenter

Installation view, Nicola L.: Works, 1968 to the Present, SculptureCenter, New York, 2017. Photo: Kyle Knodell

Nicola L.: Works, 1968 to the Present
Kelly Akashi: Long Exposure
September 18–December 18, 2017

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SculptureCenter is pleased to announce two solo exhibitions by Nicola L. and Kelly Akashi, on view through December 18, 2017. Both exhibitions are curated by Ruba Katrib.

Nicola L.: Works, 1968 to the Present
Since the 1960s, Nicola L. has occupied a unique position through her interdisciplinary practice. She creates works that are thematically connected but take on many different forms and formats, from performance to film to domestic objects. Her exhibition at SculptureCenter is the artist's first institutional survey, including works from her wide-reaching oeuvre from the late 1960s to 2000s, showing her "functional art" alongside her paintings, collages, and film works. 

Nicola L.’s work takes up notions of skin and surface, often breaking apart representations of the body and turning them into furniture-like objects and vice versa. Dressers, lamps, sofas, and other items resembling human forms comprise her functional objects. This body of work appears as a cast of characters, physically confronting their human counterparts as they open and close, turn off and on, and store personal items. Her series of "Penetrable" works, initially conceived to be entered or worn by viewers and/or performers, extends the body’s exterior, skin, into vinyl and textile casings that enclose single or multiple bodies within another layer of material. An emphasis on superficial coverings and caricaturized anthropomorphic objects ties into Nicola L.’s longstanding interests in feminism and in interrogating constructions of subjectivity.

On the occasion of the exhibition, SculptureCenter presented a staged reading of The Banquet of the Beheaded, a performance work by Nicola L. originally mounted at La MaMa E.T.C. in New York in January 1999.

The Banquet of the Beheaded is a collection of monologues delivered at a dinner party for decapitated historical figures. At this meeting, 12 characters assemble to describe the circumstances of their iconic deaths, aiming to correct the historical record and reassess the relevance of their fates.

SculptureCenter’s presentation was read by Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, Kyle Dancewicz, Brian Droitcour, Moriah Evans, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Ruba Katrib, Baseera Khan, Kayode Ojo, Jessi Reaves, Silas Riener, Aki Sasamoto, Jamie Stevens, and C. Spencer Yeh.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication with an essay by Ruba Katrib, available online and in our bookstore. Nicola L.: Works, 1968 to the Present is supported by Linda Mirels and Gerard Mossé, Amy and Ronald Guttman, and Ursula Hauser.

Kelly Akashi: Long Exposure
Kelly Akashi is a Los Angeles-based artist working in sculpture and photography, often using materials like wax, glass, bronze, light, and air to emphasize time and ephemerality. Akashi's exhibition at SculptureCenter marks her first solo institutional presentation and includes new works commissioned for the lower level galleries incorporating large and mid-scale glass forms. The exhibition also includes photograms that capture impressions of selected objects, revealing their internal structures.

Throughout Akashi’s work, glass forms are often placed in combination with other objects, such as candles and lost-wax bronze casts. Akashi displays these diverse elements within specifically designed structures, creating elaborate tableaus. Her arrangements suggest abstracted narratives of use and explore relationships between different forms and materials. For her exhibition at SculptureCenter, Akashi continues her exploration into specific connections between air and fire—two elements necessary to produce her glass works—by periodically lighting wax candles within her installations, altering the appearance of the works over time. Energetic and alchemical transformations of material are central to her work: the objects comprising Akashi’s sculptures are physical manifestations of the intangibility of a breath of air or a burst of flame.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication with an essay by Ruba Katrib, available online and in our bookstoreKelly Akashi: Long Exposure is supported by Brenda Potter, Mary Hoeveler, Mihail Lari and Scott Murray, Anthony Grant, and Susan Steinhauser and Daniel Greenberg. 

About SculptureCenter
SculptureCenter leads the conversation on contemporary art by supporting artistic innovation and independent thought highlighting sculpture’s specific potential to change the way we engage with the world. Positioning artists’ work in larger cultural, historical, and aesthetic contexts, SculptureCenter discerns and interprets emerging ideas. Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter provides an international forum that connects artists and audiences by presenting exhibitions, commissioning new work, and generating scholarship.

SculptureCenter's major exhibition and operating support is generously provided by grants from the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; the Kraus Family Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the A. Woodner Fund; Jeanne Donovan Fisher; the Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation; and contributions from our Board of Trustees and Director's Circle. Additional funding is provided by the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation and contributions from many generous individuals.

For more information, please visit: www.sculpture-center.org

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