Materiality is the body of sculpture.
But what constitutes materiality? It is: when things are themselves. It’s not about making something out of drywall, or rebar, but rather presenting each as such. “This is plaster,” it says. “It hardens. Now soak the linen in the plaster. Movement becomes frozen. Now wrap it around rebar. Gravity is defied.”
So what does it mean to posit building material as bodily? That our limbs are like rope? Our flesh, like cloth? Everything becomes colored, dyed, pigmented. The evental space itself fuses these contradictions, making syntheses. Body is building. Bone is plaster. Fragile. Impressive. Each is a monument. Each, sculpture. Not the container of a secret, but the secret itself.
And so our paths of fidelity ossify, our flesh becomes chiasm, and our bodies become the building material of Truth. Because things are exactly what they seem.
“Building Material” is comprised of new sculptural work by Paul Wallace. The show opened at the 74 Market Street Gallery in Venice, CA on December 16th as part of a group show during the Venice Arts Crawl. The show debuted new work by Paul Wallace, Isabelle Alford-Lago, Bill Dambrova, and Manino Mendez.
What becomes of these bodies, then? These bodies that defy gravity, that produce Truth from their fingertips? Perhaps they extend from walls. Effortlessly. Their iron simply floats. The movement of their linen skin moves while remaining still. They are chaos contained within a space. They are action paintings and minimalist objects. They are the very rules of OSSIFY – Truth emerges from the body. The body is a meaning machine.
Suspended Rebar consists of three panels, 16x16x8in each. They are made from linen, plaster, stucco pigment, rebar, drywall, wood, and house paint. During the installation the three panels were mounted in a row on the center of the gallery’s loft wall. The sculptures reach out into the space.
The rebar, suspended in midair within the gallery, enunciates the synthesis of the bodily within the notion of building material: movement is frozen, mass becomes weightless, chaos is equivalent to symmetry, etc. This is to say, its transcendence is denoted by its very materiality, its immanence. It is the enunciation of Truth.
Ossified Rope (gallows)
Death also ossifies the body, much like Truth. Nearness to death situates the body around its own evental void. Understanding death allows the body to live its truths in life.
Across the room from Suspended Rebar sit four floor-mounted sculptures, Ossified Rope (gallows), which stand 30in off the ground. They are made out of rope, plaster, wire, concrete, and rebar.
Color Field (evental matheme)
The matheme for “evental space” (the rectangle within rectangle structure) is repeated six times within a primary/complementary color field in this set of sculptures. The field is two columns of three, wherein each primary color sits next to its complement panel.
Each 18x24in panel is made from dyed canvas, plaster, and stucco pigment.
Dark-gray pigmented plaster (the center rectangle of each panel) is applied by hand, adding a tactile quality to the stark minimalism of this piece, which betrays the bodily core of its otherwise mechanically reproduced color field. This synthesis of body within machine reproduces the structure of the evental matheme (which is itself repeated in each panel). The abyss is not empty, but made up of movement. It is not colorless, but rather the un-selected – inconsistent multiplicity. The color field is not a cold abstraction, but rather a living process.
Laurels and Descending Cloth (woman)
A cloth falls toward the floor, marking the end of work. But it does not hit the ground. It remains mid-flight, draping, descending but reaching upward like a stalagmite. It vaguely resembles a shrouded woman, yet is body-less. It is shroud as body. Cloth as material.
Descending Cloth (woman) stands 15in high, 7in across the base. It is linen, plaster, stucco pigment, wood and house paint.
Adorning the two open walls on either side of the gallery’s top floor are Laurels, 40x15in each, made from rope, linen, plaster and stucco pigment. They are material as celebration.