September 30, 2023


How Art Works

Mel Kendrick at Parrish Artwork Museum

2 min read

For greater than 5 a long time, sculptor Mel Kendrick has created visible puzzles by taking issues aside and placing them again collectively once more. The ensuing works invert spatial oppositions, giving dimension to emotions of internal battle.

The artist’s retrospective, “Seeing Issues in Issues,” is an invite to benefit from the traces of this battle, which could be present in each hole, slip, and break of the artwork on show. Whereas essentially summary, early items similar to Nemo, 1983, and Sculpture No. 2, 1991, flirt with figuration, remodeling stable blocks of wooden into kinds that need to transfer and develop. The sculptures of the previous twenty years, nevertheless, are way more distilled, reflecting an artist extra keen to think about the fabric constraints of his medium. In Untitled (Inexperienced Block), 2007, Kendrick begins by drawing an online of calligraphic strains throughout either side of a hewn block of wooden; the strains function a blueprint for chopping into the entire. The inner components are then eliminated and positioned on prime of the remaining construction. The result’s a mirrorlike sculpture the place a destructive picture initiatives its stable counterpart, crossing a line of division embedded inside every kind. Extra just lately, in Double Lock, 2015, and Standing Block (Black Concrete), 2020, Kendrick has utilized the identical process to expanded polystyrene, which he used to forged the leads to black concrete. These sculptures are extra self-contained, absorbing the warmth of their environment and transmitting a solemn calm.

Like Narcissus gazing down at his reflection, the sculptures’ empty and stable kinds create each harmonious and uneasy pictures. Infinite variations emerge, some coherent and a few much less so, but every one makes the case that opposition will not be one thing to be overcome, however one thing to be sustained and loved.


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