Exhibition - Jesse Wine: Imperfect List

Monday, Jan 18, 2021 at 12:00pm

Sculpture Center
44-19 Purves Street
Long Island City, NY 11101

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Jesse Wine: Imperfect List is an exhibition of new sculptures by British-born, New York-based artist Jesse Wine. The artist's first U.S. solo museum exhibition, Imperfect List continues Wine’s fifteen-year engagement with clay as his primary artmaking material and builds upon an open, generative approach to sculpture. Wine’s work is concerned with the observable world, the explicit and implicit regulations that determine its features, and their manifestations in the human form. Accordingly, Wine’s subjects include buildings, people, everyday objects, and hybrid figurative elements whose postures and gestures bridge embodiment and abstraction across dramatically different scales. In the exhibition, these range from the immediacy of the handmade object to the block-by-block formalism of the built environment of New York City, often considering both at the same time.

Wine’s work thematically explores the excessive productive force that gives the city its shape. Together, the works reflect a fluid and anthropomorphic proximity to bombastic construction in the urban landscape, as well as its pragmatic deformations. In analogies made between limbs, joints, and architectural features, Wine produces allegories of individuals’ purchase on the space above, below, and around themselves. Painted or glazed surface treatments and sensually layered forms evoke what architect and artist Madelon Vriesendorp has described as the “sexual ecstasy of cities.” Vriesendorp cautions, however, that “Disaster follows ecstasy. Like form follows function.” [1] Appropriately, Wine’s exhibition includes figures in repose who are sleeping, spent, submissive, or otherwise idling in anticipation of action.

Approaching sculpture as a means of understanding the underlying structure of the world through its forms and surfaces, Wine pursues overlapping strategies that include modeling, remaking, citing, and copying, all characterized by a freewheeling formal ingenuity. These coextensive impulses suggest that the “expressive” or “subjective” nature of Wine’s work is closer to an idiosyncratic parsing of larger social issues through intimately familiar formal terms.

Imperfect List, the exhibition’s title, comes from a 1989-90 spoken-world track by Big Hard Excellent Fish, a short-lived project of British musicians Pete Wylie and Robin Guthrie. Over a downtempo beat, the voice of Liverpool musician and artist Josie Jones reads a litany of distressing, destructive, or frustrating figures and concepts: “Heartbreaking, lying friend,” “acid rain,” “gut-wrenching disappointment,” and “the Tory invention of the non-working class,” among many others. Much like the song’s public declaration of affronts to personal dignity, Wine’s exhibition establishes a dynamic, charged relationship between individual experience, socio-political power, and the conditions that have governed both in increasingly perverse ways since the song’s initial release.

Jesse Wine was born in 1983 in Chester, England. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Forthcoming solo exhibitions include Simone Subal, New York (May 2020); and The Modern Institute, Glasgow (November 2020). Recent solo exhibitions include: Prosper, Phantom Limb, Simone Subal Gallery, New York (2017); Young man red, Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, The Netherlands (2016); Working title, not sure yet, Mary Mary. Glasgow (2016); Wonderful Audience Member, Soy Capita?n, Berlin (2016). Select group exhibitions include Further Thoughts on Earthy Materials, GAK, Bremen (2018); Lynda Benglis, Erika Verzutti, Jesse Wine, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Rio de Janeiro (2017); Regarding George Ohr: Contemporary Ceramics in the Spirit of the Potter, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida (2017); Battersea Power Station and CASS Sculpture Foundation – Powerhouse Commission, London (2017); That Continuous Thing: Artists and the Ceramics Studio, 1920 – Today, TATE St Ives, Cornwall (2017); Jesse Wine | Peter Voulkos, Parrasch Heijnen, Los Angeles (2017); Sludgy Portrait of Himself, Museum of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK (2017); Paul Heyer, Jeanette Mundt, Jesse Wine, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, (2016); Luster – Clay in Sculpture Today, Fundament Foundation, Tilburg, The Netherlands (2016).

Jesse Wine’s exhibition is curated by Kyle Dancewicz, SculptureCenter’s Director of Exhibitions and Programs.

Exhibition Date: September 24, 2020 – January 25, 2021

Free Admission

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