Piles, Stacks, Lumps & Mounds
Lisa Iglesias, Prepositions, 2017
Piles, Stacks, Lumps & Mounds (PSL&M) is a group exhibition tucked in a corner of the Canal Street Market. The exhibition is part of Sight Unseen presents, which consists of curatorial programming aimed at bringing more attention to New York Design Week. Curated by Chiaozza, the artist/design team of Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao, PSL&M is made up of twenty-one multimedia works displayed on grid-like shelves that are surrounded by a glass enclosure. Viewers can peer through the glass, but are unable to see the works up close. This element of distance adds to the intrigue as well as the frustration for those of us who enjoy getting up close and personal with artwork.
Susan Carr, It's Packed in Here Let's Dance, 2017
With a less than glamorous title, the words that make up PSL&M evoke images of a pile of trash, a stack of newspapers, a lump of coal, or a mound of dirt. While on their own each word doesn’t have an inherently negative meaning, when put together, the connotation is negative. Based off of a literal and figurative look at what it means to “accumulate matter,” and “how all things are allowed to take shape,” Chiaozza allowed these four words to guide them and the exhibiting artists on a free flowing journey. The words themselves are anything but beautiful, yet there is something quite poetic about giving artists a prompt and seeing how each interprets it in their own way.
Brent Owens’s sculpture, Plasma Heap, is a twisting, turning, mass of energy. Its craggy edges and writhing shapes are confrontational yet aesthetic, crossing paths between a campfire gone wrong and an epic, otherworldly light show. Assemblage 138, by Andrew Casto is a colorful, textured bundle. Casto manipulates ceramic, giving the piece signs of life; the small sculpture could be reminiscent of an alien lifeform, or even something you left in the back of your fridge way past its expiration date. Chen Chen & Kai Williams’s sculpture Moonmilk Shard transforms its material. The artists give an airy lightness to one of the heaviest substances, cement. The cement has movement, as though its liquid form was caught in a wind storm and frozen in time. The natural drips create intricate, organic patterns. Each piece in the exhibition carries a specific weight, whether it be light or heavy, physical or metaphorical. As a group they are a delectable combination of colors and textures, making it easy for the typical Canal Street Market visitor to stop and take a peek.
265 Canal Street
New York, NY 10013
Monday to Wednesday: 11am-7pm
Thursday to Saturday: 11am-8pm
Photos courtesy Chiaozza