Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is pleased to announce our participation in NADA NY 2018 with a solo presentation of new works by MOLLY LARKEY that combine elements of sculpture, painting, fabric/fiber arts, architecture and language.
Consisting of small and large-scale, linen-wrapped and hand-painted metal structures, Larkey’s new works embrace contradiction through the joining of opposing forces: figuration with abstraction; feminine with masculine; soft fabric with welded steel. Rooted in the physicality of sculpture but refusing to be held down into one category, the works use the fluidity of form and function to propose an alternative to binary systems. The works change shape and meaning as the viewer moves around them: a line becomes a symbol becomes a painted gesture becomes a figure becomes architecture. The works also hint at representational forms, recalling early systems of art and language that abstracted familiar objects.
Every aspect of Larkey’s work has a material and metaphorical relationship with real life structures. The steel square tubes that she welds are commonly used to make fences and gates—structures associated with enclosure, separation, confinement, and control of movement. Here, they are reconfigured to become dynamic and open and generative to multiple interpretations. Wrapping the works with linen also transforms the metal without negating its structural qualities. The linen fabric, in addition to its painterly associations, is like a bandage, applied by hand, that brings a sense of care and healing to the rigid structure.
The use of paint further animates the geometrical lines and straight edges of the structure. The wide-ranging colors, applied with different textures and qualities of line, create a musicality whose tones unfold as one moves around the piece, bringing together opposites and incorporating empty spaces as pauses. The resulting work encompasses contradictory impulses, colors, materials, and forms without negating or erasing one element in favor of another. It proposes that all voices and elements—masculine and feminine, bright and muted, hard and soft, abstract and figurative—are necessary to the whole.
For Larkey, sculptures are objects that convey meaning through their physical presence and thereby impact the way that a body relates to the physical world. The shift in perspectives that occur when one interacts with these sculptures embodies a subtle but powerful idea: structures that accommodate and celebrate movement can change perception and create possibility. In this way, Larkey’s work points to the challenges of communication in our world and suggests a future freed from fixed perspectives.
Molly Larkey (b. 1971, Los Angeles) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She received a MFA from Rutgers University, New Jersey, and a BA from Columbia University, New York. Her work will be featured in the upcoming exhibition The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe & Contemporary Art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR. It has also been presented in exhibitions at PS1 MoMA, New York; The Saatchi Gallery, London; LACMA, Los Angeles; The Drawing Center, New York; Horton Gallery, New York; Ochi Gallery, Ketschum; Dutton Gallery, New York; Samson Projects, Boston; and Human Resources, Commonwealth & Council, Control Room, PØST, and Weekend, all in Los Angeles.