June 10, 2014 - SculptureCenter - Summer exhibitions
June 10, 2014

Summer exhibitions

Left: Katrín Sigurdardóttir, Foundation, 2013. Colored concrete and wood. Installation view, SculptureCenter, 2014. Photo: Ron Amstutz. Right: Liz Glynn, RANSOM ROOM. Red sculpture wax, gold mica powder, plaster, steel, stucco, burlap, wood. Installation view, SculptureCenter, 2014. Photo: Jason Mandella.

Katrín Sigurdardóttir: Foundation
Now Showing: Jory Rabinovitz

June 2–July 28, 2014

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Long Island City, New York 11101
Hours: Thursday–Monday 11am-6pm

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info [​at​] sculpture-center.org


This summer, SculptureCenter presents three independent exhibitions:
Katrín Sigurdardóttir: Foundation
Now Showing: Jory Rabinovitz

Katrín Sigurdardóttir: Foundation
SculptureCenter is pleased to present Katrín Sigurdardóttir’s Foundation, Iceland’s representation in the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. Foundation is a large-scale installation comprising a raised ornamental surface, mapping out the floor of a fictional 18th-century pavilion. Handmade tiles form intricate patterns in the baroque style, and visitors are invited to walk on the surface and experience it underfoot.

Foundation is conceived as a trilogy of installations. In the first, at Palazzo Zenobio’s Lavanderia in Venice, the work intersected the walls of an ancient laundry. In Reykjavík, the work was located at the Reykjavík Art Museum’s Harbour House, an old customs house in downtown Reykjavík. Now in New York, it will occupy the vast gallery of SculptureCenter, a former trolley repair facility. Foundation juxtaposes elaborate and ornamental decoration with the functional structures of these repurposed industrial buildings. In each of its prior iterations, Foundation intersected with the building structure cutting across interior and exterior walls and columns. The imprint of the architecture of the previous venues is visible, drawing a new pattern. Thus, the real story—of inhabiting three different buildings in three different countries—intentionally contrasts the fairytale of the baroque inspired floor.

The surface of the pavilion’s floor, symbolizing opulence and leisure, contrasted by the building’s structure, referencing labor, brings up questions of value and structures of power. The floor replicates artisanal tile construction and is handmade by the artist and her team as a way of questioning the limits between art and craft, as much as the concept of authorship in relation to production. This imaginary locus, with its disjointed leveling, suggests an overlay in time and space, bringing to mind the mining of an archeological site, as much as the prospective structuring of architecture.

In its entirety this piece is an investigation around the concept of drawing. Foundation metaphorically evokes the drawn line as the origin of thought, of artistic production as well as architecture and craft. Navigating this abstract space—where the contamination between different disciplines and forms of knowledge parallel the intersection of the floor plans—creates a unique emotional experience.

Katrín Sigurdardóttir was born in Reykjavík in 1967. Over two decades, she has explored the way physical structures and boundaries define our perception of reality. Through unexpected shifts in scale, united with a personal use of architecture, cartography and landscape, her evocative installations oblige us to look at the world surrounding us in a new way.

Sigurdardóttir’s solo exhibitions include The Icelandic Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, Reykjavík Art Museum and SculptureCenter, New York (2013–14); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2010); MoMA PS1, New York (2006); FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon, France (2006); Sala Siqueiros, Mexico City (2005); and Fondazione Sandretto re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy (2004). Future exhibitions include MIT List Visual Arts Center in Boston (2015); Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London (2015); and Mass MOCA (2016).

The exhibition is organized by the Icelandic Art Center, and is curated by Ilaria Bonacossa, Director of Villa Croce, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Genoa, Italy and Mary Ceruti, Executive Director and Chief Curator of SculptureCenter, New York. A 128-page catalog accompanies the exhibition, published by The Reykjavík Art Museum and Marsilio Editori, Venice. It contains texts in English, Icelandic and Italian by Hafthor Yngvason, Director of the Reykjavík Art Museum; Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Icelandic Minister of Culture; Dorothée Kirch, Commissioner; the writers Eva Heisler and Kristín Ómarsdóttir; in addition to Ilaria Bonacossa, Mary Ceruti and Katrín Sigurdardóttir.

SculptureCenter is pleased to present RANSOM ROOM, Liz Glynn’s first solo project in a New York museum. RANSOM ROOM is a continually evolving installation exploring the ramifications of cultural destruction. Liz Glynn’s work has frequently referenced historic objects and artifacts to trace shifts in political, cultural and economic value over time. In this new project for SculptureCenter, Glynn focuses on a moment of total loss—the melting down of a large cache of precious metal artifacts during the Spanish conquest of the Incan empire.

For RANSOM ROOM, Glynn works from the scant and conflicting historical narratives of the Spanish conquest. In 1532, Inca emperor Atahualpa was seized and held as a prisoner by the Spanish conquistadors, led by Francisco Pizarro. In an attempt to buy his freedom, the emperor offered to fill a 17-by-22-foot room, up to the height of his outstretched arm, with gold, and then twice over with silver. The Inca valued precious metals for their ritual and ceremonial usage; for the Spanish, these objects represented the potential to pay off their debt to the Crown. Thousands of individual objects were carried long distances and gathered in the room. In spite of the delivery of the ransom, Atahualpa was executed on the pretext of seditious intentions, and the Inca Empire rapidly unraveled. The artifacts were subsequently melted down into ingots to maximize space on the ships returning to Spain.

For RANSOM ROOM, Glynn translates this mass of precious metal into red sculpture wax, traditionally used in lost-wax casting of bronze, by creating wax surrogates for the lost gold objects. Visitors will find SculptureCenter’s ground-floor rear gallery re-sized to a 17-by-22-foot stucco room staged as a storied palace in Cuzco with a replica of a fountain, cement corn stalks punctuated with golden maize, and the walls lined with wax panels. Over several weeks, wax objects—vessels, cups, plates—will accumulate, having been cast and hand-carried from various studio locations in New York until the room is filled. During the final week of the exhibition, the collected objects will then be melted down into ingots and eventually displayed on pallets. A written record will document the objects that have been removed from the room.

Glynn’s work is engaged with the relationship between objects and narratives and how those narratives reflect politics and power dynamics. She studies the material cultures of the past to consider the ways in which objects embody, preserve, or challenge values and social systems of the past and of the future. By recreating objects that have been lost to us, Glynn connects the rapacious destruction of material objects and the obliteration of an entire culture.

Born in Boston in 1981, Liz Glynn currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Glynn has presented large-scale exhibitions and performance projects at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Performa 11, and the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time (2012). Her work has been included in a number of important museum exhibitions including the Hammer Museum’s Made in LA biennial (2012); and the New Museum’s The Generational: Younger than Jesus (2009).

Now Showing: Jory Rabinovitz
SculptureCenter is pleased to announce Now Showing: Jory Rabinovitz. Now Showing is a program that highlights a single artwork or project in areas throughout SculptureCenter’s building. Working with artists to find new ways of approaching the unique architecture of SculptureCenter, Now Showing is an exploratory and flexible mode for presenting artworks and projects to our audiences.

New York-based artist Jory Rabinovitz is presenting a new site-specific sculptural work within an area recently created by the current renovation of the SculptureCenter building. The work, Non Olet, starts in the gallery space and extends into the men’s and women’s bathrooms, returning to the original site, and connecting these disparate areas. The title of the work references the Latin phrase “pecunia non olet,” or “money doesn’t stink,” a reference to Roman emperor Vespasian’s “Urine Tax,” where urine was collected from the public bathrooms of the lower classes and resold for various chemical processes, such as ammonia, creating new goods and entering the chain of commerce and trade.

In the sculpture on view, Rabinovitz has used brass, an alloy of zinc and copper, to thread through walls and liminal spaces, dropping piles of scattered brass pennies. In 1983, due to the rising market value of copper, the compound of pennies switched, from mostly copper with a small amount of zinc to copper-plated zinc. When oxidizing to clean the metal, Rabinovitz collects the resulting pigment with a fabric, which is integrated into the sculpture. The metal used and their interactions perform particular effects on the materials on view, illustrating potential and impact in the conversion of substances. Rabinovitz’s sculptural works investigate boundaries of material and metaphor and their social and societal actualities. The literal compounds comprising exchange systems are explored in sculptures that reimagine relationships between materials, considering their attributes and utility.

Jory Rabinovitz lives and works in New York. Rabinovitz has recently exhibited at Martos Gallery, New York; Abrons Arts Center, New York; Tanya Leighton, Berlin; Off Vendome, Düsseldorf; Galerie Balice Hertling, Paris; and Night Gallery, Los Angeles. Rabinovitz has received numerous awards and residencies including the The Rema Hort Mann Foundation Visual Art Grant (2012) and the Emerging Artist Fellowship, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, New York (2010).

About SculptureCenter
Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter is a not-for-profit arts institution in Long Island City, New York dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture. SculptureCenter commissions new works and presents exhibitions by emerging and established, national and international artists. Our programs identify new talent, explore the conceptual, aesthetic and material concerns of contemporary sculpture, and encourage independent vision.

Media contacts:
Adam Abdalla / Andrea Walsh 
Nadine Johnson & Associates 
adam [​at​] nadinejohnson.com / andrea [​at​] nadinejohnson.com / T +1 212 228 5555


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