Fearful Objects: Kavi Gupta | 835 W. Washington Blvd. Chicago, IL, 60607
Kavi Gupta Gallery is pleased to present Fearful Objects, a group exhibition including seven artists who use sculpture as their primary medium. A fearful object can be described in psychology as a common object associated with a phobia such as a snake, spider, blood, or water. Many of these things biologically instill fear, while individuals can also develop aversions to objects that may seem innocuous or unlikely to evoke anxiety.
The sculptures in this exhibition quietly hint to this emotional state through a divergent conceptual practice. Some works’ physical presence, color and tactility appear ominous such as John Isaacs’ The Cyclical Development of Stasis which presents itself as an oily black stone that may or may not be recognized as its actual source of the iconic seat of The Thinker and Sterling Ruby’s massive white minimalist-inspired Formica Inscribed Monolith smudged with dirt and scrawled with gang graffiti.
Humor and form converse with primitivism in a piece by Nathan Mabry in which a towering black plank referencing a McCracken sculpture serves as the base for two stacked figures depicting African Senufo Rhythm Pounders whose hands are moved to cover their genitals.
While some works loom as softer cryptic poetic construction including Lorna Macintyre’s wall assemblage and Michael Stumpf’s aluminum dangling orb flooded with colored silk, others like Felix Schramm create physical disasters with the use of drywall and other construction materials.
Presenting the pinnacle of tragedy is Tony Tasset’s intricately sculpted pieta of himself holding his son limp in his arms. One can look upon fearful objects without being afraid while at the same time fear many things that could never cause harm.
These sculptures are not frightening, though their mystery, anxiety, seduction and subtlety urge the viewer to distinguish the relationship between light and darkness.