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Reception: Friday, April 13th from 5-8pm

Sterling Lawrence

Sterling Lawrence (1980, OR,) currently lives and works in Chicago where he received a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Sterling has had solo exhibitions with Devening Projects (2013), Chicago; Tony Wight Gallery (2011), Chicago; and has been included in group exhibitions at DePaul Art Museum (2017), Illinois State Museum (2017), Et al., San Francisco (2016); Scotty Enterprises, Berlin; Soloway, NY (2014); Columbia College, Chicago; Devening Projects, Chicago; and New Capital via Forever and Always, Chicago. Selected Projects include OVERIDE / a billboard project with Expo Chicago (2016); Edition works for The Society for Contemporary Art Gala (2014)

Slouching towards description, Wood, paint, inkjet print on back lit film 25 x 19 x 31 in, 2017

Checkered history, Aluminum, frosted acrylic, archival inkjet print, polymer 24 x 17 x 27 in, 2017

Side table, 2016 Aluminum and plexiglas 34 x 36 x 12 in

Cone, 2016 wood and formica 9 1/4 x 18 1/4 x 8 1/4 in

Cabinet, 2016 Aluminum and plexiglas 36 1/4 x 45 1/2 x 2 in

Screen, 2016 Aluminum, plexiglas and hooks 58 x 33 x 10 in

Temporary Wall Structure 1, 2, 3, 4, 2016 Archival pigment print on backlit film mounted to acrylic 96 x 35 in (each panel)

Tone / Half Tone 1 and Tone / Half Tone 2, 2016 Aluminum, acrylic paint and fabric 36 x 30 x 2 1/2 in (each)

Fielding Elbow, 2016 Polyurethane and aluminum 35 x 46 x 3 1/2 in

Fielding Elbow, 2016 (detail) Polyurethane and aluminum 35 x 46 x 3 1/2 in

Casting Elbows 1.3, 2015 Polyurethane and aluminum, 12 x 12 x 4 in

Rack 03, 2015, Rubber, Aluminum and Hardware, 70 x 17 x 25 1/2 in

Sterling Lawrence, "Rack 03" (detail shot), 2015, Rubber, aluminum and hardware, 70 x 17 x 25 1/2 in

Strap illustration version one, 2015 Rubber, hardware and aluminum pipe, 58 x 60 in

Strap illustration version one, 2015 Rubber, hardware and aluminum pipe, 58 x 60 in

Strap illustration version one, 2015 (detail)

Strap illustration version two, 2015 Rubber, hardware and aluminum pipe, 60 x 100 in

fACED lunch tray version 2, 2016 Formed plastic and rubber stoppers, 19 x 11 in

Impression caption fig.1, 2016 Inkjet print on formed plastic 22 1/2 x 14 in

Impression caption fig. 1, Inkjet print on formed plastic, 19 x 11 in. 2016

Sterling Lawrence, Cover for a Preface 1, 2016

Sterling Lawrence, Cover for a Preface 2, 2016

Sterling Lawrence, Proposed Service Window as a Mirror of its Former Self 1.2, 2016

Sterling Lawrence, Proposed Service Window as a Mirror of its Former Self 1, 2016

Sterling Lawrence, Residual Gaze of a Once Ritual Glow, Gradient 145, 2016

JULIEN CREUZET: AFTER THE STORM

Frieze Magazine

April 2018


Bétonsalon & Fondation d’enterprise Ricard, Paris, France

Native to the islands of the Caribbean, the manchineel tree is known in the West by the name the conquistadors gave it. The manzanilla de la muerte – little apple of death – grows along the shore, its fragrant yet toxic green fruit tempting sailors newly arrived from the high seas.

The treacherousness of manchineels is evoked in the haunting, beautiful title of Julien Creuzet’s exhibition at Fondation d’entreprise Ricard: ‘All that sea distance, for the oil filaments of the manchineel to stop our heartbeats. – The rain made that possible (…)’ The other part of this dual show runs at Bétonsalon under a different title, extracted from the same poem, written by the artist. The Bétonsalon title begins ‘The rain made that possible’ and ends ‘All that sea distance’, such that the two follow one another in an endless cycle, like waves lapping upon the shore.

Julien Creuzet, 'La pluie a rendu cela possible' (The rain made this possible), 2018, exhibition view 

Julien Creuzet, ‘La pluie a rendu cela possible’ (The rain made this possible), 2018, installation view, Bétonsalon, Paris

The sea – what it brings and what it takes; what its distance separates and its depths conceal – is central to these exhibitions. The artist himself grew up in Martinique – which is to say that his identity, in part, has been defined by the great in-betweeness of the water, the outre-mer that separates France from its overseas administrative territories.

Each show is a constellation of objects that might have been deposited by a storm tide. Creuzet has previously referred to his whole-show installations as ‘archipelagos’, borrowing Edouard Glissant’s vocabulary of ‘mondiality’ – the influential Martiniquais philosopher’s notion of a global community that preserves diversity and difference. Clumped mattings of natural and synthetic materials are circled with threads that evoke both fishing nets and the paralysing tentacles of the Portuguese man o’war. (Named for the armed galleons whose wind-inflated sails their floating polyps resemble, the transparent tentacles of these colonies of organisms can extend for up to 50 metres underwater. They offer an apt metaphor for the insidious residues of European imperialism.) A nacreous shell balances on a slice of Nike shoe; a sponge, air-dried and desiccated, nestles next to a row of aeroplane seats that seem to have landed sideways from the sky on a new crossing of an old journey.

At Bétonsalon, Chinese-made plastic mats, woven with African patterns, fray like the tops of mangled sugarcane or grasses in the sand-dunes – overlayingcontemporary and historical trade networks, and the circulation of cultural signifiers in a hyper-connected world. Plastics, products of the petrochemicals industry that defines the global economy even as it threatens to destroy it, are conspicuously present here – although, as with the grassy mats and the green plastic beads scattered on the floor like sand-grains, they often evoke natural forms. Ecological questions are complexly layered with social ones.

Julien Creuzet, 'La pluie a rendu cela possible' (The rain made this possible), 2018, exhibition view 

Julien Creuzet, ‘La pluie a rendu cela possible’ (The rain made this possible), 2018, installation view, Bétonsalon, Paris

More than archipelagos, to me these exhibitions feel like mangroves: their trees evoked by the wrapped, vertical, twig-like forms suspended from the ceilings at both venues. They are filled with the mysteries and shadows that this edge-of-water zone holds in the Caribbean imaginary. Two ghostly, prone anthropomorphic figures, both black – a flattened silhouette at Bétonsalon and a mesh-wrapped baby with a face resembling an African mask at Fondation Ricard – recall the horrors of the middle passage, as well as more recent European tragedies of migration.

Both spaces resonate with the sound of the artist’s voice, as he incants songs drawn from the title poem. At Bétonsalon, a refrain repeats over a sparse melody: ‘Il faut refaire le tour […] il faut refaire le temps’. Creuzet, who often uses poetry and music in his work, is at his most mesmeric here, taking his words off the page and making them felt, physical. ‘We need to go back […] we need to remake time’: for all the violence and difficulty of his themes, I get the sense that Creuzet’s worldview, like Glissant’s, is generous, perhaps even hopeful. Maybe, in the thickets of the mangrove, there is a way forward together.

Main image: Julien Creuzet, ‘La pluie a rendu cela possible’ (The rain made this possible), 2018, installation view, Bétonsalon, Paris

Amy Sherlock is deputy editor of frieze and is based in London.

Owner
Aron Gent
aron@documentspace.com
Director
Sibylle Friche
sibylle@documentspace.com
General Inquiries
info@documentspace.com

Gallery hours:
Tuesday-Saturday: 11am-6pm

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DOCUMENT is a commercial gallery located in Chicago that specializes in contemporary photography, film and media based art. The gallery has organized more than 30 solo exhibitions since its opening in 2011 and actively promotes the work of emerging national and international artists. Operating conjointly as a professional printmaking studio, DOCUMENT facilitates the production of works by artists from Chicago and the US. At this time we do not accept unsolicited submissions.