Alone in the Wilderness
Sep 11 – Nov 14, 2020
1/F, 50 Connaught Road Central
In her first solo exhibition in Asia, Virginia Overton presents new sculptures and works on paper. In this body of work the artist explores the histories embedded in certain materials, and the narratives and value systems that are created when these materials are appropriated, revived and re-contextualized.
Overton’s sculptures are made from objects and elements she comes across in her immediate environment, her choices and working process driven by what she has described as the ‘natural push and pull in materials’. She selects materials that are part ready-mades, altering their purpose and function through a shift in perspective or orientation. As with so much of her work, the materials used in this exhibition have had other lives before taking on a life as artwork.
For this new series of sculptures Overton has reassembled aluminium letters and logos salvaged from the names and signs adorning the facades of high-rise corporate buildings.
Shown alongside the sculptures are a new series of works on paper, made of cut-up adhesive vinyl lettersets spliced back together and glued onto paper.
In both the sculptures and works on paper, geometry is employed to create a tension that seems to run counter to the inherent qualities of the materials. She uses this carefully balanced tension to explore the poetic potential of the works, as in Untitled (Tiger’s eye)(2019), which is made up of fragments of red signage that have been configured to form an almost perfect square with an oval-shaped void at its centre. This sculptural relief, composed of imperfect off-cuts, resolves into a harmonious whole, achieving an equilibrium that not only brings the viewer’s attention to its materiality – its curves, blemishes and weathered texture – but equally, to the space which the work both occupies and displaces. By appropriating the mechanisms of a capitalist society, the object now ‘spins off in an entirely new direction’.
Virginia Overton was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1971 and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Solo exhibitions include Socrates Sculpture Park, New York (2018); Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, Arizona (2017); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2016); The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2014); Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, Germany (2013); Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (2013); The Power Station, Dallas, Texas (2013); and The Power House, Memphis, Tennessee (2007). Group exhibitions include Front Triennial, Cleveland (2018); Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, Michigan (2017); and Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2016).