RACHEL FOULLON - SHAPENERS
September 14 - October 6, 2013 | Opening receptions: Saturday, September 14, 6-8 pm
79 Newtown Lane | East Hampton | New York | 11937 | 631.604.5770
HALSEY MCKAY is pleased to present, Shapeners, Rachel Foullon’s first exhibition with the gallery. The artist renovates pre-industrial farm tools, stripping them of any remaining value the vintage objects may have had as either a functional tool or antique collectible. This gesture views the life of objects as not necessarily finite, but rather ripe with potential for double lives and comebacks.
Foullon completely dismantles the tool, sanding and removing the patina of age and oftentimes the actual grime built up from years of laborer’s perspiration. This process liberates it from its own nostalgic aura and the lazy seduction of the found object, and imbues it with an entirely new set of values. Rusted hardware is re-tooled by sandblasting and powder coating; other elements are replaced entirely and then plated in high-contrast, reflective nickel. A scythe blade may be substituted with a geometric shape drawn and abstracted from the original and a study of its dynamics and range of motion in relation to the human body, now digitally water-jet cut in mirror polished stainless steel. Sewn and dyed fabric elements are integrated into these sculptural compositions, adding pathos in their subtle references to worn garments.
Three central works in the exhibition are formed couples. Collected over time, studied and admired for similarities and idiosyncrasies, Foullon pairs handmade scythes, flails and draft collars. These marriages exploit a sympathetic nature between one handmade tool and its other. Together they are partners, individuals at work side-by-side, their movements choreographed to work alongside each other and map their shared geometries. As Shapeners takes its title from James Agee’s essentialist description of an individual in an effort to describe the whole of the cotton tenant population–Foullon’s sculptures also examine the anarchist notion that chances of success and joy are based in the randomness of circumstance.
Rachel Foullon was born in Glendale, CA in 1978. She earned her BS from New York University and MFA from Columbia University. Solo exhibitions have been at the University Art Museum, University at Albany, NY; ltd los angeles, CA, Artissima19, Torino, IT and Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, NY. Foullon has participated in group exhibitions at SculptureCenter, Brennan and Griffin, Wallspace, Kate Werble, Museum 52, Nicole Klagsbrun and Andrea Rosen in NY; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK and Workplace, UK among others. Awards, commissions and residencies have been granted to the artist by NYFA, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Public Art Fund, Dieu Donne Papermill, Grizedale Arts/Wordsworth Trust, the Caroline Newhouse Award for Sculpture, Columbia University and the International Residency and Workshop at IUAV, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy.