ROOM EAST will open its first exhibition of work by the Los Angeles-based artist Michael Rey on Sunday 27 April. The works on view combine humor and curiosity; the results of which range from subtle similarity to radical difference. “IBJECT,” the title of the exhibition, is a neologism that refers to the artist’s interest in a hybrid medium:
“Like sculptures, my works have three dimensions with a bodily presence. Like paintings, they have surfaces that function as compositional planes. They are hybrids. They can be thought of as existing in the interstices of painting and sculpture.
The wall works begin in my dreams and drawings. I lie in bed and doodle forms. I restrict myself from familiar shapes that are tethered to conventional meanings. My shapes are foreign, maybe alien. They emerge as something unrecognizable, and only later do I give them titles.
To make these forms, I work oil plasticine into the surfaces to create a ground. The choice of this material began as an experiment, but continues to reflect my personal anxieties about finitude. The fragile quality of the result is like skin, a delicate, vulnerable organ. The holes stand in as orifices, points, or measures of space.
I have a romantic notion that these works are autonomous, that they resist the pull of being defined by painting as it exists. Each shape and color combination is part of a visual lexicon, a succession of forms that push for a new language.”
Michael Rey (b.1979) is a graduate of Art Center College of Design, Pasadena. Recent work was exhibited at Office Baroque, Brussels, and will be included in a forthcoming show at Ratio 3, San Francisco. This summer Rey will have a solo exhibition at Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles.
For downloadable exhibition material, click here.