David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to announce a solo presentation of new sculptures by Evan Holloway at Independent 2016, which runs concurrently with his first exhibition at our gallery in Los Angeles. An artist who brings together varied and idiosyncratic strands of West Coast culture while addressing the formal properties specific to the history of sculpture, Holloway is responsible for some of the most iconic objects made in Los Angeles over the last 20 years.
Painted sculptures built from cast bronze twigs arranged at right angles, for example, have long served as laboratories for experiments in geometry and color. Taken together, they amount to an ongoing meditation on the discrepancies and overlaps between natural forms and the abstract patterning employed by the human mind to understand them. Several new works of this type will be on view, ranging in size from intimate, tabletop constructions to larger objects that relate, like much of Holloway’s work, to the scale of the body.
An altogether different take on the natural world finds expression in a sculpture of a plant under a grow light. Made from steel, cardboard, and CelluClay papier mâché, and textured like the surface of a Giacometti figure, the tableau exudes Holloway's insouciant humor and demonstrates his ability to combine virtuosic technique with punk-inflected, do-it-yourself ingenuity. It also showcases the paradoxical populism that makes his work immediately accessible without sacrificing the nuance and complexity born of broad art historical resonance. These qualities situate Holloway in a lineage that includes postwar California-based artists like Mike Kelley, Liz Larner, and Charles Ray.
But this blend of the intuitive and the canonical also allows his work to reflect an aesthetic approach that transcends any one particular geographic location or period. For example, in another series of sculptures, Holloway caps steel rods, radiating outward from a central point, with individually formed Sculptamold papier mâché or plaster faces that resemble miniature versions of the archaic monuments on Easter Island. Each unique arrangement hints at the ritualistic power of objects used by people all over the world, since the dawn of time, to bridge the ordinary and the divine.
That everyday life can be considered a psychedelic phenomenon is reflected throughout Holloway's practice, and he often takes up both the ethos and accoutrements of an esoteric worldview as overt subjects. In the presentation at Independent, their presence is perhaps first sensed not through the eyes, but through the nose. Another group of new sculptures, slender and columnar in form, are doubly functional: intended for use as incense burners, they also allude to the kinds of ritualistic totems that provide focal points for meditative exercises. They are reminders that looking at art can be a radical way of seeing beyond the facts of the physical world around us.
Evan Holloway (b. 1967, Whittier, California) has been featured in numerous institutional exhibitions, including You’ve Got to Know the Rules … to Break Them, de la Cruz Collection, Miami (2015); Lightness of Being, Public Art Fund, City Hall Park, New York (2013); Theatrical Gestures, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel (2013); All of this and nothing, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2011); The Artist’s Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2011); At Home/Not At Home: Works from the Collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, Center for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (2010); 2008 California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California (2008); Ensemble, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2007); The Uncertainty of Objects & Ideas, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2006); and the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2002). His work will be included in Don't Look Back: The 1990s at MOCA, which opens at The Geffen Contemporary, Los Angeles, on March 12. Holloway lives and works in Los Angeles.