Artist: Eli Hansen
Venue: Maccarone, New York
Exhibition Title: Should be fine
Date: March 30 – April 28, 2012
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Maccarone, New York
Maccarone is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Eli Hansen. Displaying a laboratory of hand-blown glass, CFL and LED light bulbs, plastic and chopped wood locally sourced from the artist’s surroundings in Upstate New York, Hansen crafts a narrative of regionalism, subterranean laboratories, the idiosyncrasy of hand and the spectral presence of a storyteller. These ethereal components congregate in the dimly lit gallery space, simulating an environment of codependence. In the penumbral light exists the murky sensation that a protagonist has been there, abandoning the audience to contemplate who will stop the chemistry set from bubbling over, or pick up the shards of a shattered beaker.
In both wall pieces and freestanding sculpture, irregularities emerge from glass blown so precisely it could be mistaken as mass- produced. Hansen effectively abstracts the ready-made; though functional, it is in the surfaces’ subtle warps that the hand of the artist is revealed. The objects’ inconsistencies force the viewer to reconsider Hansen’s process, submitting to an immersive experience where the irregularities seem as confident and unhinged as a hallucinatory vision. Coupled with rough-hewn objects of refuse, Hansen seeks to complicate the division between the clean and the gritty. From found objects and scrap bits emerges an aesthetic of need. The do-it-yourself ethos underscores the artist’s commitment to the handmade and a vernacular of the basement laboratory.
Hansen’s tables of scavenged wood form a stage upon which interloped glass characters tell us a story. Proof of the human comes into play with the vessels’ anthropomorphic forms replete with cinched waits, potbellies and slender necks. In place of the missing protagonist, the artist populates his narrative with a heterogeneous cluster of objects and substances for the audience to piece together. His sculptures point toward the amalgamation of the differences between a materially drenched reality and the possibility of a more irreducible form of expression, suggesting in the receding figure of the artist that the viewer must be called to this foundational task.
Elias Hansen was born in Indianola, WA and currently lives and works in Upstate New York. Selected solo exhibitions include Jonathan Viner, London, UK; The Company, Los Angeles, and Lawrimore Projects, Seattle. Hansen’s work has exhibited in the Seattle Art Museum, WA, Howard House Contemporary Art, WA, The Swiss Institute NY and Parc Saint Leger, Paris (with Oscar Tuazon).
Link: Eli Hansen at Maccarone