The Philbrook Museum of Art, Oklahoma, Tulsa, 06/30/2013 - 09/29/2013
(Philbrook) Remainder brings together recent work by seven young, up-and-coming female sculptors: Diana Al-Hadid, Rachel Beach, Rachel Foullon, Kate Gilmore, Heather Rowe, Erin Shirreff, and Allyson Vieira. The sculpture presented in this exhibition is primarily abstract, but pulls influence from the physical framing of space, including buildings, architectural plans and models, gardens, and even modern sculpture. Many of these references recall the recent past, with inflections of twentieth century art and design. Others elicit ancient cultures, with vaguely primeval forms.
Each of these artists works with physical fragmentation and removal, conjuring a sense of loss. The exhibition title Remainder is meant to evoke this idea of a residue of the past, as in architectural ruins or archaeological remains. And yet, this exhibition gives equal emphasis to regeneration and rebuilding as it does to entropy and decline. Artists take formal fragments, references to past eras, even bits of collective memory, and reassemble them into new and unique creations. The title Remainder therefore might also elicit the mathematical term, in which the inability to divide numbers equally leaves a pesky balance with which to contend.
Collectively, the work in this exhibition is difficult to categorize, in keeping with the manner in which many artists work today. Distinctions of the past having to do with materials, process and technique have become mostly obsolete, as sculptors now shun dichotomies and categorization. Visitors will see how contemporary sculpture can be at once found and created, primal and polished, degenerative and regenerative. Similarly, because boundaries between mediums are continuously being challenged, Remainder will not be limited solely to sculpture, but also will present drawings, prints, photographs, performance and video.
The fact that all of the artists assembled here are female is somewhat incidental; their artwork is not determined or motivated by their gender. And yet, it is a deliberate curatorial choice to focus the show in this manner. Among the various mediums available to artists, sculpting may be the one that remains the most male-dominated, due to its physicality. These young women are making some of the most interesting and dynamic sculpture today, neither because of, nor despite, their gender.