Night Gallery is pleased to announce Earthflash, a solo exhibition of new sculptures by Anne Libby. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, following Marrow into Moxie in 2015.
Referring to the sublime reflections of skyscrapers mirroring onto each other, Libby posits that capitalism creates conditions for unexpected forms of subversion. Here, reinvention can be seen as an expression of agency in an age of skyrocketing industry, transposing it through meditative and mechanic re-construction.
The ornamental aspects of Libby’s work have recalled the tenets of Art Nouveau, the late 19th-century movement that embraced technological innovations while referring in form to nature. In these works, by turning affectless utilitarian materials into singular aesthetic inquiries, Libby continues to demonstrate the tactics of a biomorphic transformation. Libby’s process begins as a dissection of quotidian materials — surfaces of plastic furniture are peeled away to a clean grid of hollow bits that reinforce structure. Libby uses this gridded pattern for the skin of her constructions — Venetian blinds are curved into waves and wrapped around the contours, transferring them towards a metallurgical softness. From these material explorations emerge imposing structures which appear at first like enigmatic machines, with even rows of knobs and embellishments of industrial silver, some hanging from walls and others hovering above the floor like pools of water which reflect material collecting. The surfaces of these “pools” include unpeeled garlic skins – laminated, a natural wrapping permanently suspended in an artificial wrapping. Flattened and repurposed in this way, this fleeting material is preserved and living. Close inspection reveals the meticulous work of the artist’s hand – the carving, bending, and piecing together of these commonplace items into forms of striking elegance and spontaneity in a process that blends machinelike repetition with human impulsivity.