Since it opened in 1982, Leila Heller Gallery has consistently housed some of the most relevant and fresh exhibitions in New York while launching artist’s careers and placing works in major collections all over the world. The gallery’s newest exhibition - Rock, Paper, Scissors - curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, opened July 12th and will run until August 18th. The concept is “derived from the name of the popular hand game and refers to the mediums and formalistic choices of the works represented in the show, which is divided into three sections.” Nine world-renowned artists from various countries – including artists from the Middle East, which happens to be the specialization of Leila Heller Gallery – represent the three sections; rock, paper and scissors.
Artists Louise Nevelson, Jackson Pollock and Kasper Sonne represent the first section; rock. Louise Nevelson’s Untitled 81 seems to be a very straightforward interpretation of the theme. However, Nevelson tricks the viewer by creating a sculpture that has a strong sense of weight and gravity but is actually painted wood. Kasper Sonne shows a wide spectrum of work in the exhibition, ranging from minimalist geometric sculptures to neon light sculptures.
Although paper is often used quite literally as a surface to create on, the artists in this exhibition have used the paper as their creative medium. Hadieh Shafie, Rob Carter and Kim Chun Hwan have consciously reinvented what we view as the paper’s purpose in art by rolling, folding and layering it to create 3-dimensional work. In her work, Shafie has rolled up hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper to create circular wall sculptures. From every new vantage point, the viewer experiences flashes of hidden writings. Rob Carter’s Stone on Stone uses a stop motion or flipbook aesthetic to show the evolution and destruction of one of the most revered pieces of architecture – the cathedral. In the beginning, the cathedral burns down to be slowly replaced by a very industrial concrete building. However, Carter slowly brings this cathedral back to life as concrete is replaced by stained glass and ornamentation is pasted on. The film ends with a single skyscraper emerging from the ground right next to the cathedral, merging the past, present and future of architecture.
Louise Bourgeois, Soonja Han and Jim Dine represent the third section; ‘scissors.’ The differences in Bourgeois and Dine’s work epitomize the concept behind the exhibition. Dine‘s works literally depict images of scissors and other tools of artistic creation while Bourgeois’ collage work was created by the adroit use of scissors. These opposing creative processes and different formalistic choices reveal the true essence of the exhibition.
Be sure to view works available from Rock, Paper, Scissors on Leila Heller Gallery’s Paddle8 page!