SOFT POWER, Lesley Heller

Soft Power

at Leslie Heller Workspace 54 Orchard St New York

Sarah E. Brook, Maria Hupfield, Lizzie Scott, Jayoung Yoon

Curated by Katya Grokhovsky

September 6 – October 22, 2017
Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 6, 6–8pm
Performance by Maria Hupfield: Sunday, October 22, 3pm
Soft Power is a group exhibition which explores notions of human condition and power dynamics through the use of hand manipulation of “soft” malleable materials such as felt, fabric, canvas and human hair. The artworks include sculptural objects, wall hangings, canvas constructions and performance. United by their use of soft materials and the handmade, each artist uniquely activates their own space of inquiry, evoking their own relationship to place, body, space and time.

Sarah E. Brook searches for an internal state in relation to place. Inspired by her upbringing in the Nevada high-desert, she juxtaposes the psychological impact of a vast landscape to the current rapid digital age via manipulation and assembling of materials such as sand paper and canvas. Her sculpturally inclined wall hanging objects act as windows into abstracted distant places; or as fragments of half-remembered lucid dreams.

Lizzie Scott’s sewn and painted fabric constructions defy definition. Oscillating between sculpture and painting, her works protrude off the wall in geometric formations, extending the boundaries of painting into physical space. Investigating the everyday world through color and form, Scott’s work explores the infinite possibilities of the dimensions of reality.

Jayoung Yoon uses human hair in her work as an intersection between the physical and spiritual dimension. Engaging the material as a form of post-corporeal metaphor of time, Yoon employs her own sheared hair as a symbol. A stand-in for the body, the hair is painstakingly woven into objects and sculptures through abstracted forms representing patterns of thought.

Maria Hupfield, a member of the Anishinaabe Nation at Wasauksing First Nation (Ontario, Canada), works in performance and sculpture, intervening into space with hand sewn body-objects made from industrial felt—which act as invitations to activate, converse, and to locate one’s body in relation to one’s self. These sculptures are carried either on or off the body, evoking new meanings and engaging our senses.

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