We Care About You, Andy Coolquitt’s second solo exhibition at Lisa Cooley, presents abstract, linear sculptures made of joined pipes, broom handles, discarded lighters, beer bottles, light bulbs, straws, and crayons which are minimalist, ordered rearrangements of the raw world from which their components are sourced. Human-scaled and oddly anthropomorphic, Coolquitt’s work relates to the body in scale and form. Many times the works are functional, but Coolquitt is more interested in their dysfunction and their tenuous relationship with practicality.
We Care About You includes significant new sculptures that plumb Coolquitt’s alchemical bricolage. attainable excellence #2 is a lanky rod of transformed pipes that leans against the wall. A u-shaped pipe at the bottom forms two feet, and four light bulbs create an illuminated halo. The sculpture has a refined DIY aesthetic that channels its titular optimism. I’m telling you what is a multi-element sculpture that includes a bench banded with brightly striped fabric, a light bulb piece, and two varicolored staffs. Each component is made of found materials. Despite their disparate origins, a cohesive internal rhythm reveals Coolquitt’s unified, transformational sensibility. Coolquitt shows these discrete sculptures alongside non-art objects, reinvestigating a theme in his practice of immersive environments.
Found objects hang from the ceiling and commune with the finished works. The former are not “ready-mades”, which would both steep them in art history and claim them as Coolquitt’s own. Instead, he calls them “somebody mades” because “another human designed and constructed them” Also included are “inbetween objects” which are in the process of becoming – or resisting becoming – resolved pieces. The result juxtaposes what Coolquitt terms “three levels of the life of the object.” Among these ruminations on objecthood, Coolquitt revisits a work from 1991.Titled a nice soft place for meeting people…, a plush shelf at elbow height encourages viewers to lean, converse, and interact. This shared experience embodies the connections between both people and materials that define Coolquitt’s oeuvre.
Andy Coolquitt was born in Texas in 1964. He lives and works between New York and Austin, Texas. He attended UCLA and the University of Texas, Austin. He has exhibited extensively in the United States and Europe, most recently with a solo show at Jack Hanley Gallery in San Francisco. In 2011, Coolquitt will have a solo exhibition at the Blaffer Gallery at the University of Houston in Texas accompanied by a catalogue. Upcoming group exhibitions include an exhibition at Galleria Zero, Milan, Italy and Illuminations, organized by Matthew Higgs, at Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York.
Images and text provided by Lisa Cooley
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