Gavin Kenyon (b. 1980, Binghamton, NY) experiments with form and materials to produce organically structured bodies of mass. His chosen mediums have included cement, concrete, ceramic, stitched canvas, vinyl, leather and fur, found objects, and more recently cast iron and bronze. Kenyon often begins his process by sewing fabrics together to form sacks, which he then fills with plaster and/or cement and ties and binds with rope while the material inside is still liquid. The fabrics are torn away once the plaster dries, leaving patterns and fabric remnants. The resulting structures allude to architectural forms while retaining a biomorphic sensibility.
His more recent cast iron and bronze body of work draws on two distinct traditions in art making: Minimalist sculpture and American quilting. Following the “gentleman’s fancy” quilting block pattern, Kenyon stitches gessoed linens into quilts that are then blanketed over found objects. The quilts are subsequently translated into a hard metal, whereupon Kenyon relinquishes the objects beneath, rendering the quilts’ protective function obsolete. The works are then cast as brute, monochromatic, sculpted voids, reliquaries of vanished objects. His work converges elements of substance and void, figuration and conceptualism, architecture and biomorphism.
Kenyon received a BFA from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY. His work has been exhibited internationally, including in solo exhibitions at the Museo Marino Marini, Florence, Italy (2015), and MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY (2014). Two exhibitions have been dedicated to the artist’s work at Blum & Poe, New York, NY (2017) and in Los Angeles, CA (2014). Kenyon currently lives and works in New York, NY.