Matthew Marks is pleased to announce Rebecca Warren: Pas de Deux, the next exhibition in his gallery at 523 West 24th Street. This will be the British artist's first one-person exhibition in New York.
Rebecca Warren makes figurative sculptures in unfired clay. These sculptures are expressionistic and often overtly sexual. In the present work, Warren takes as inspiration the art historically-loaded figure of Degas's sculpture of the little dancer. Exploring the duality between the prostitute and the ballerina, Warren interrogates the way that canonical sculpture has been read and reread over time. The artist's work has been called feminist, but Warren tends to disagree: "I want them to look like they'd been made by a sort of pervy, middle-aged provincial art teacher who'd taken me over."
The artist will be exhibiting over a dozen new sculptures, including nine figures, loosely termed "dancers." The pas de deux referenced in the title is the dynamic, fluctuating relationship between art history's most persistent binaries: male/female, high/low, old/new, Dionysus/Apollo, classic/grotesque. This exhibition scrutinizes these traditional sets of opposing forces and explores the way in which they interact and gain meaning from each other.
The artist writes, "The title of the exhibition suggests that all these dualities are in flux, moving around each other. The use of French alludes to the hegemony of Classical Western-European High Culture while its representation in the exhibition suggests dissolution and degeneracy. Bits of the sculptures grow exuberantly, misunderstanding their own limits and getting it wrong, becoming distorted, deformed, cartooned."
On the walls will be several vitrines holding a collection of found objects, studio detritus, neon fragments and sculptural doodles. These cases act as would-be ethnological displays providing an imagined museological context while at the same time serving as three-dimensional sketchbooks.
Rebecca Warren was born in London in 1965 and received degrees from Goldsmith's College at the University of London and the Chelsea College of Art, London. She first began exhibiting in 1993, and her work was the subject of a one-person exhibition at the Kunsthalle Zürich in 2004. The artist currently lives and works in London.
Rebecca Warren: Pas de Deux will be on view at the Matthew Marks Gallery at 523 West 24th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues) through December 24, 2005. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.