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Lee Relvas

Some Phrases

Opening: Thursday, April 13, 6–8pm

April 13 – May 21, 2017

A photograph of the gallery, standing in the front room and looking backward. There are 4 sculptures placed on the floor, and one hung on the wall. They resemble the silhouettes of bodies.
A photograph of the gallery, standing in the front room and looking backward. There are 4 sculptures placed on the floor, and 2 hung on the wall. They resemble the silhouettes of bodies.
A photograph of a single wooden sculpture, with excerpts of surrounding sculptures included as well. The sculpture in the foreground appears to have a rope strung and tied around it's center, creating a waist.
A photograph of a sculpture installed very high on a white wall. In the background there is an excerpt of another sculpture hung on the wall.
An installation photograph of 3 sculptures made of plywood hung on the walls (at right, in center middle-ground, at left in background). There are also 5 sculptures visible on the floor, but several are excerpted and out of the frame of the photo.
A photograph of 3 sculptures installed on the ground, and one on the wall in the background.
A photograph of 3 sculptures installed on the floor of the gallery, and 3 installed on the walls. The sculptures resemble human bodies.
A photograph of the main area in the gallery. There are 6 sculptures installed on the ground, and several on the walls throughout the space. There is a lot of layering happening, some of the sculptures themselves are illegible.
A photograph of the left side of the gallery where 3 sculptures are installed on the ground, and one is installed on the wall at left. There is a vase of flowers and a stack of publications at the extreme left of the photograph.
A photograph of the left-front of the gallery space itself. There are 3 sculptures installed on the ground, and one on the wall. There is a large window visible at left of the image.
A photograph of 3 sculptures on the ground, and one installed on the wall. The wall work is visible through an opening in one of the sculptures in the foreground.
A photograph of 2 tall sculptures, both of which are installed on the floor. There is significant layering in these works, so even in standing up they have dimensionality.
A photograph of 3 sculptures on the ground and one wall-work at right. The front windows of the gallery are fully visible.
A photograph of the front-right portion of the gallery, with the backside of the temporary wall visible. There are 4 sculptures situated on the floor, layering over one another. There is also one sculpture installed on the back side of the temporary wall.
A photograph taken from the back of the gallery looking forward. A wall work hung on the backside of the temporary wall is visible, as are works at right in the photograph. There is quite a bit of layering in these forms.
A photograph of 2 floor sculptures and 2 wall works. The wall works are small, hung idiosyncratically. The floor works are tall, and layered.
A photograph of 2 wall works at right, and 2 floor sculptures at left. There is a tissue in the hand of the wall work closest to the right border.
A photograph of the back quadrant of the gallery. There are two wall works (one on temporary wall, one at left), and there are also two sculptures installed on the floor at right. They are only partially legible.
A photograph of two sculptures mounted on the wall. The one at left is quite low to the ground, while at right is perched very a bit higher.
A photograph of two sculptures partially visible, one at the left is standing on the floor and the one at right is on the backside of the right wall.
A photograph of three sculptures: one is on the floor at right, one is on the pole in the center of the room, and one is on a wall only partially visible.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a figure lifting, with knees bent and arms down.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a figure lifting, with knees bent and arms down.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a figure kneeling on the ground, with head down.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a figure, seemingly leaning backward with elbows bent.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a rectangle, which seems to have a rope strung and tied around the center.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a figure, installed on the wall, with a tissue in its hand.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a figure, installed on the wall, with a tissue in its hand.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line indistinctly describes a silhouette with a tube of red lipstick.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. This image is a close up of the wood clutching a tube of red lipstick.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a figure, installed on the wall, with a handful of pennies.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a figure, installed on the wall, with a handful of pennies.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a figure, installed on the wall, holding on or hiding behind something.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a figure, installed on the wall, holding on or hiding behind something.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a figure, installed on the wall, coming away from itself at the center and projecting into space.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a figure, installed on the wall, coming away from itself at the center and projecting into space.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette seemingly peeking out of an enclosure. The body is crossed in the middle, like the figure's legs are crossed.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a figure, installed on the wall. It could be two figures intermingled, or one wrapped in blankets.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a figure, installed on the wall. It could be two figures intermingled, or one wrapped in blankets.
A plywood sculpture that is meant to look like a single carved line. The line describes a silhouette of a figure, installed on the wall. It looks like a base clef, or a body slinking along in wait.

Press Release

Callicoon Fine Arts is pleased to present Some Phrases, Lee Relvas’ first exhibition with the gallery, opening April 13th through May 21st, 2017. Speaking through a spare formal and material vocabulary, these sculptures evoke three-dimensional drawings, handwriting as a record of thinking, meandering lines of music, and the everyday choreography of gesture.  

Made from construction-grade plywood, and joined with epoxy putty, a substance often used in plumbing, these materials are transformed from disposable renovation materials into life-sized physical presences through the devotional and perverse labor of sanding, a technique that changes the material, in effect, by repetitively rubbing it, until it is soft as flour. The sculptures are both outline, drawing mass and volume by demarcating space within it, and skeleton, imagining mass and volume building upon it. Even as they are smoothed into symbolic lines that are the translation of the observable world, they still maintain their bodily viscerality; like skin, what these pieces feel like to touch is always visible. 

This body of work is poised between two modes of looking at the body: compelled towards making bodies to physicalize ephemeral moments of interior experience, but wary of the representation of bodies which can bend towards surveillance, categorizing bodies and erasing interior experience. These sculptures look for a language that speaks through bodies’ movements, gestures, and actions. Rather than named and definitively identified, each sculpture is titled with a verb, such as Hiding, Adorning, Withholding, Thinking, Offering, Mourning, and Lifting. As the viewer walks around them, the viewer’s translation of gesture changes based on their position in the room, and each moment stretches and contracts in time. The moment slips in and out of definition; each sculpture has a relationship to every other sculpture that is constantly shifting.

The show also includes a free booklet of writings that acts as a spatial and temporal extension of the work. Part interpretation of the works and part melodic lines moving in counterpoint to the work, this booklet contains “Lee’s Ley Lines,” a joyful riff from a shapeshifting “I” sensuously careening around the work by the writer Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, and “Open Loop,” a polyphonic meditation of rhythms found in states of disorientation by the artist Sid M. Dueñas. It also includes a piece of fiction by Relvas, the short story “An Interview about Love,” which explores two moments of political cataclysm – October 2001 and October 2016 – and the complicated layering of emotion and experience within screen-mediated global events.

This exhibition is an invitation to experience the body as a mind and the mind as a body. It attempts to counter the alienating and divisive fantasies of endless growth and disposable resources, policed boundaries, and surveillance as truth, with dreams of the everyday, in which each person is a doorway, our interior experiences are truths, and our movements are mysterious and free.  

Lee Relvas’ (b. 1981) work encompasses sculpture, writing, music, and performance.  She had a solo exhibition at Artist Curated Projects in Los Angeles in 2016, and was the recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist grant that same year. She has also exhibited and performed at The Hammer Museum, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, The Brooklyn Museum, Art in General, ZieherSmith, Honor Fraser Gallery, Suzanne Geiss Company, Orchard, and Ochi Projects. She has released six solo albums of music, and currently records under the moniker Rind. From 2004 to 2010 she made work under the name Dewayne Slightweight.

For additional information contact Photi Giovanis at info@callicoonfinearts.com, or call 212-219-0326.

Callicoon Fine Arts is located at 49 Delancey Street between Forsyth and Eldridge Streets. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10:30am to 6:30pm. The nearest subway stops are the B and D trains at Grand Street and the F, J, M and Z trains at Delancey-Essex Street.

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