Callicoon Fine Arts presents porcelain and ceramic sculpture by Kahlil Robert Irving and a new series of plywood sculptures by Lee Relvas.
Using collage and pottery technique, Irving contemplates the visible and hidden layers of lived experience in contemporary Rust Belt cities, specifically St. Louis, Missouri, where he has lived, studied, and worked for the last decade. Irving’s assemblages are “cultural bricolage,” per art historian Hannah Klemm, that fuse contemporary urban references such as Sprite logos, scratch-off lottery cards, and cigarette cartons with cues from Chinese and German decorative arts traditions of porcelain. Alongside original decals, metallic lusters, and items gathered from the street to hand-cast, these sculptures suggest a compressed commentary on social, racial, and cultural tensions Irving has witnessed in his city. Material waste merges with historical decadence, providing a platform from which we examine inheritance — of names, objects, cultural traditions, behavior — and the social histories these items hold.
Lee Relvas’s new series, “Elegy,” — inspired by the poem of lament that bears its name — takes a cue from the Classical elegiac couplet, with a rising and falling rhythm that continually renews, expressing a sadness in its repetition. Relvas notes: “This looping emotional movement, in which both the past and the future hold no consolation, felt like the appropriate mode in which to sing of so many recent events: the death of a friend in the ghostship fire, unseasonable and voracious wildfires, and unrelenting evidence of ecological catastrophe. Ever influenced by the experience of reading — in which black marks on a page are transformed into myriad images within the mind of the reader — my sculpture uses simplicity of line to evoke mental images in the viewer/reader. Within this series, the image flickers between a static, skeletal past and an imagined future that may hold blooms or flames.”
Kahlil Robert Irving (b. 1992, San Diego) is currently living and working in St. Louis. He attended the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Art, Washington University, in St. Louis (MFA 2017) and the Kansas City Art Institute (BFA Art History and Ceramics 2015). In 2017, Callicoon Fine Arts mounted his first solo exhibition in New York. His work has been included in exhibitions at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kansas, and at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. In 2018, Irving’s work will be exhibited at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, and STNDRD, Granite City, Illinois. Irving has been an artist-in-residence in Venice, Italy, and Pećs, Hungary. He is currently the 2017–18 Alice C. Cole Fellow at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Irving’s work is in the collections of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas; the Riga Porcelain Museum, Latvia; The Ken Ferguson Teaching Collection at the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri; the Foundation for Contemporary Ceramic Art, Kecskemét, Hungary; and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem.
Lee Relvas (b. 1981, Boston), previously known as Dewayne Slightweight, lives and works in New York and Los Angeles. She received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College (2003) and was part of No MFA from USC Roski School of Art and Design, after collectively withdrawing in protest, along with the entire incoming MFA class, in fall 2014. Previous exhibitions and performances have been held at Artist-Curated Projects, Los Angeles; and Art in General, SculptureCenter, and Orchard in New York. Relvas is the recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation 2016 Emerging Artist Award. In January 2017, Relvas performed at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles as part of In Real Life, a program highlighting performance and video-based work. In April 2017, Callicoon Fine Arts presented Some Phrases, the first solo exhibition of Lee’s work in New York.
For additional information, contact Photi Giovanis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-219-0326
Location and details: NADA Art Fair, Skylight Clarkson Sq (550 Washington St), New York, NY. Preview: Thursday, March 8, Preview: 10am–2pm, Public Access: 2–8pm; Friday, March 9, Public Access: 12–8pm; Saturday, March 10, Public Access: 12–8pm; Sunday, March 10, Public Access: 12–6pm.