Blum & Poe, New York
April 19–May 26, 2017
Opening reception: Wednesday, April 19, 6–8pm
Blum & Poe is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by New York-based artist Gavin Kenyon. This marks Kenyon’s second exhibition with the gallery and will introduce sculptures and wall reliefs from a recent series the artist calls “Shrouds.”
Kenyon’s long-established interest in American quilting takes center stage in this new body of work. Following the Gentleman’s Fancy block pattern, Kenyon stitches gessoed linens into quilts that are then blanketed over common, found objects. The quilts are subsequently translated into a hard and brittle metal, whereupon Kenyon relinquishes the objects beneath, rendering the quilts’ protective function obsolete. The works are then cast as sculpted voids, reliquaries of vanished objects.
Composed of cast iron and bronze, the shrouds become brute monochromes that defy the structures within their fundamental design, yet hint at their inceptive qualities by mimicking the softness and care inherent to the original quilt. In their seriality and variation the works draw on the tradition of Minimalist sculpture, existing as voluptuous folds of fabric frozen in time. Both in concept and form, the series stands as a convergence of paradoxes: figurative and conceptual, contemporary art and traditional craft, masculine and feminine, substance and void.
Gavin Kenyon was born in 1980 in Binghamton, New York. He received a BFA from Syracuse University and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Kenyon has had solo exhibitions at the Museo Marino Marini, Florence, Italy (2015), and MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY (2014). Select group exhibitions include Burning down the House, the 10th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea (2014), and Archeo, High Line, New York, NY (2014).