May 8 - June 15, 2013 Reception for the artist: Saturday, May 11, 6-8 PM
Zach Feuer Gallery is pleased to present Diamond Crossing, a new sculpture by Marianne Vitale composed of decommissioned manganese steel railroad tracks in the form of a dramatic junction. The dominating intersection, extending from the center of the space, creates a wall-to-wall iconic X, obliging visitors to walk, or trip, over the heavy lines in order to see the work from different vantages. The rails are set on severed 2x4s, creating an ominous shadow line, imposing an incongruous lightness to the five tons of steel.
Diamond Crossing expands on Vitale's established preoccupation with mining archetypal relics of the American frontier - its history and mythology as well as the hysterics associated with Westward Expansion as the country shifted from an agrarian culture to an industrial society. Recent works include sculptures out of reclaimed lumber that recall burned bridges, tombstones, outhouses and false fronts. As the railroad was essential to the development of this Wild West and crucial in the industrialization of the country, Diamond Crossing, through the mirror of this past, confronts the anxiety and predilections of contemporary culture.
The minimalist geometries found in Vitale's recent reclaimed lumber sculptures are brought to the fore in Diamond Crossing. The sculpture's formal elegance is countered by the material, which is left untreated, bearing rust, rail stamps and handwritten markings. The repurposed rails, which are loaded with history and have art historical precedent, provide a set of new formal challenges to the artist - the least of which is weight.
Metaphor continues to play a key role in Vitale's work as well. X marks the spot. Both a dominating symbol and generic marking, X represents the unknown. It cancels out the gallery space, conjures up ideas of crossroads or meeting point as well as confronts us with a dissected narrative.
Marianne Vitale (b. 1973) graduated in 1996 from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Kitchen, White Columns, the Brooklyn Museum, Anthology Film Archives; and international venues such as Le Confort Moderne, France; Tensta Konsthall, Sweden; UKS, Norway; Cass Foundation, London; Contemporary Art Center of Vilnius, Lithuania. Upcoming projects include a Frieze Projects/New York commission; a solo exhibition of new work at Kunstraum Innsbruck opening in September and a Performa New York commission in November.
Upcoming exhibitions: Jon Rafman: September - October Dasha Shishkin: October - November