Allan WexlerSight Lines: 35 years of drawing
May 9 - June 8
Opening reception; Friday, May 9; 6-9pm
My first encounter with Allan Wexler’s work was the occasion of one of his many solo shows at Ronald Feldman Gallery. The show was a tangible delight of rain catching structures, ephemeral and mind bending. There were wry conceptual riffs on functional objects and their enabling orthographic drawings, such as chairs, in various layouts, in 3D form or splayed open on the wall, deprived of functionality. There were works resembling objects, that in one’s mind should be solid and strong, but were not. Big things were made tiny, paper and fabric were made to perform herculean tasks. An intensity of energy was put towards the reconstruction of the humble brick, in paper as a series of miniature sculptures, each with it’s glass case, his version of “variations on a theme”. There was variety and insistence of seriousness in the “play” that kept one tickled on high notes that never seemed to let up, across the gallery space. The pièce de résistance was the recreation of a single 8 foot 2x4, made entirely of yellow tracing paper, leaning ever so nonchalantly, and self sustaining, against the gallery wall with it’s own wood storage crate.
Wexler delights us with “tiny”, he wows us with craft, he makes us construct function or form in our minds or follow a Rube Goldbergesque quest toward discovery. It would be a mistake to think of this work as merely cheeky, coy nor iconoclastic; Wexler creates the context for understanding his work, not just from what we know of the languages of drawings forms familiar to us but completely anew, and how often is it that we can say that?
Allan Wexler has worked in the fields of fine art, architecture and design for forty-five years, exploring human activity and the built environment. He works as an investigator using series, permutations and chance rather than searching for definitive solutions. He makes buildings, furniture, vessels and utensils as backdrops and props for ordinary human activity. His works isolate, elevate and monumentalize our daily rituals: dining, sleeping and bathing. In turn, these become mechanisms that activate ritual, ceremony and movement, turning these ordinary activities into theater. Allan Wexler is represented in New York by Ronald Feldman Gallery.
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