New York, 534 West 21st Street
Evan Holloway returns New York with his first exhibition at Paula Cooper Gallery. The California native is known for his whimsical approach to sculpture in which he combines traditional Modernist materials with everyday and disposable objects. Taught by pioneer West-Coasters like Mike Kelley and Charles Ray at UCLA, Holloway conveys the unabashedly mundane and material-driven visual narrative of his mentors in his engaging and playful body of work. In this exhibition—his first in New York since 2010—accessible and excessive materials form three dimensional works that transfer unexpected visual charm, triggering curiosity for their unusual take on representation.
Naming the Animals and Bones, for example, are plaster and steel sculptures that faintly resemble cactus trees thanks to countless variantly-shaped used batteries the artist implanted into the plaster surface. Uncompromisingly humorous and intriguing, these sculptures are joined by another nature-themed series that employs steel, cardboard, CelluClay, Cel-vinyl, and acrylic to mimic various green plants, such as ferns, inside pots. Their faux vivacity, contrasted by also imitation fluorescent projectors above them, and their rough textures, stemming from his use of industrial materials, suggest close inspection from their audience.
“At a time when too much half-baked art takes itself too seriously, it’s refreshing to see some serious art behaving as if it’s half-baked,” notes David Pagel in his 2016 Los Angeles Times review of Holloway’s previous exhibition at David Kordansky and continues, “Holloway's robust understanding of comedy outdistances the snarky defensiveness and sophomoric snottiness that usually define art humor.”
The exhibition runs through April 22nd.