Martin Boyce: WINTER PALMS: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to present Martin Boyce's second solo exhibition at the gallery entitled Winter Palms. Continuing the artist's ongoing exploration of cycles in visual culture, Boyce makes specific reference to the ghost of Modernism as it haunts the public urban and architectural landscape. Boyce's inanimate objects suggest an imaginary public space, illustrating the potential for poetry and romance within the sleek cool of industrial design and the reference to the urban environment. Through this installation, one's fleeting memory of a commonplace object, or experience of an everyday place, is frozen and then altered through positioning and placement of form, language and color.
The title of the show, "Winter Palms," suggests a palm tree in cold weather, and a location perpetually out of season. As such, Boyce's individual pieces occupy a dreamlike atmosphere or alternate universe - unsettled in their separation from modern history, design and architecture. The artist imbues familiar forms with new life as they are stripped of their former meaning, emphasizing the potential for change over time and the mutation of all objects, even ones that have a strong grounding in past theories and concept. Placing the forms in a contemporary context, Boyce explores "how the original political or aesthetic ethos has changed over time." For example, the iconic angularity of many works finds their roots in the "concrete trees" created by Jöel and Jan Martel in 1925 for the "Exposition des arts Décoratifs" in Paris. As described by the artist, these trees "represent a perfect collapse of architecture and nature," and are emblematic of his ongoing exploration of the oppositional elements of contemporary urban existence: the natural versus the constructed, the populated versus the uninhabited, the old versus the new.
All installation images above: Photo by Jean Vong