534 W 21st Street
The Paula Cooper Gallery is pleased to present joint exhibitions of new work by Rudolf Stingel and recent photographs by Zoe Leonard. The shows will be on view from the 9th of January to the 13th of February, 1999.
Leonard’s gelatin silver prints document the growth of vegetation in her New York neighborhood as it intersects with man-made barriers such as fences and sidewalks. In her photography of nests, trees, and the Alaskan wilderness, Leonard depicts “the essentials of life: food, growth, death, subsistence, metamorphosis, survival…” 1.These images document the results of human intervention in natural growth cycles — a tree whose growth has intersected with the man-made barrier of a fence, a spotted egg in a nest. Such passages are reflected in both the urban environment (as in the tree and fence images) and the landscape of Cape Cod.
Stingel’s cast aluminum radiators suggest a deliberate inversion of the properties of physics. Dripping their contents, these sculptures appear to have been melted and frozen on to their anointed spaces. The twisting of the expectations in form results in a multi-layered metaphor for the content of these carefully crafted, “readymade” objects. Utilitarian at best, the radiator occupies a specific significance as a standard fixture of the home. Stingel undermines traditional associations by invoking the same painterly techniques of process used in his topographical paintings. The self-referentiality of these sculptures, resulting from the aluminum casting of “melted” molds, points to the limits of temporality addressed in the artist’s own methodology for production.
Zoe Leonard, as quoted in Elisabeth Lebovici, “Space of species,” Zoe Leonard, Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, 1998, p. 54. ↩