New York, 513 West 20th Street
Although Gehard Demetz has training in traditional religious sculpture, the Italian artist delves into the medium’s introspective and subverted depictions of the human figure. In his third solo exhibition at Jack Shainman Gallery, the artist furthers his experiment with alternative materials in sculpture in addition his use of children as his subject matter. Entitled Introjection, the exhibition title refers to the phenomenon of adopting other people’s behaviors and characteristics. Within the exhibition, Demetz internalizes such act in various physical and metaphorical methods. Currently based in Northern Italy, the artist appropriates objects and rituals from his region in alternative methods for investigation of humanistic expression and mysteries of the mankind.
The artist’s wooden sculptures are assemblies of various sections as opposed to the tradition of wood carving, while Demetz’s decision to use children as his subject matter contains psychological and eerie notions. Posing between adulthood and infancy, these figures carry the determinedness of a grown up and emotional complexity of a juvenile. Rather than perfect renderings of a human form, Demetz’s sculptures trace imperfections of wood carving while suggesting various versions of endurance. Ambiguity in their motivations mark his sculptures as complex and demure; however, their curious and joyous postures require further interpretation of their motivations.
“The sculpture and the object work together. They belong to each other also if sometimes the object or the sculpture can be interpreted differently. I like that everybody comprehends my work with his own feelings, depending on his past, his experiences and his background, constructing his own stories. My greatest ambition is to start a dialogue between my sculptures and those who look at them,” noted Demetz in an interview with Rebecca Fulleylove published in Dazed about his use of children and various unforeseen objects in his sculptures.
The exhibition runs through June 3rd.