Opening reception: Saturday, May 31, 6–8 pm
Blum & Poe is pleased to present Anya Gallaccio’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. Exploring the malleability, density, and spatial possibilities of natural substances such as stone, clay, and obsidian, the exhibition posits a trajectory of formal, literal, and entropic attributes of matter into transient illusionistic realms. A British transplant living in California, Gallaccio works to excavate a material understanding of western America, extending processes of mining, core sampling, and specimen collecting into additive mark making to create sculpture conversant with American Minimalist artists Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, and Robert Smithson.
A series of large open cubes was first realized during her residency at Artpace in San Antonio, which Gallaccio constructed using locally sourced stone from Texas, including sandstone, limestone, and granite. A rich, varied sedimentary topography is demonstrated in the individual units of each cube, which corral open areas of space within a framing of multiple landscapes or mindscapes.
Debuting in this exhibition will be a mountain of clay cubes stacked high beyond the ceiling, balanced upon a framework of timber beams. Here Gallaccio builds a monument to her craft as a sculptor in a work that reprioritizes history, image, and artifice in favor of presence. Oftentimes her careful selection of unpredictable materials—soft clay in this instance—leads to unexpected results.
Gallaccio has sculpted a second new work for the exhibition consisting of obsidian mirrors that challenge one’s perception of the objects themselves. Obsidian, formed of lava from volcanic eruptions, has a glassy luster, which Gallaccio has polished into a reflective surface. Revered for its protective qualities in some cultures, Gallaccio transforms it into a highly seductive item.
Anya Gallaccio (b. 1963, Paisley, Scotland) has had numerous international solo exhibitions, including at Artpace, San Antonio, TX; Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh, Scotland; Camden Arts Center, London, United Kingdom; Sculpture Center, Queens, NY; Palazzo delle Papesse Centro Arte Contemporanea, Sienna, Italy; and the Tate, London, United Kingdom. She has been included in group exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; Whitechapel Gallery, London, United Kingdom; Macro Museum, Rome, Italy; Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, Dusseldorf, Germany; Museum of Contemporary Art of the National University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico; Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, United Kingdom; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany; Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CA; and Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA.