Night Gallery is pleased to announce Earthflash, a solo exhibition of new sculptures by Anne Libby. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, following Marrow into Moxie in 2015.
Referring to the sublime reflections of skyscrapers mirroring onto each other, Libby posits that capitalism creates conditions for unexpected forms of subversion. Here, reinvention can be seen as an expression of agency in an age of skyrocketing industry, transposing it through meditative and mechanic re-construction.
The ornamental aspects of Libby’s work have recalled the tenets of Art Nouveau, the late 19th-century movement that embraced technological innovations while referring in form to nature. In these works, by turning affectless utilitarian materials into singular aesthetic inquiries, Libby continues to demonstrate the tactics of a biomorphic transformation. Libby’s process begins as a dissection of quotidian materials — surfaces of plastic furniture are peeled away to a clean grid of hollow bits that reinforce structure. Libby uses this gridded pattern for the skin of her constructions — Venetian blinds are curved into waves and wrapped around the contours, transferring them towards a metallurgical softness. From these material explorations emerge imposing structures which appear at first like enigmatic machines, with even rows of knobs and embellishments of industrial silver, some hanging from walls and others hovering above the floor like pools of water which reflect material collecting. The surfaces of these “pools” include unpeeled garlic skins – laminated, a natural wrapping permanently suspended in an artificial wrapping. Flattened and repurposed in this way, this fleeting material is preserved and living. Close inspection reveals the meticulous work of the artist’s hand – the carving, bending, and piecing together of these commonplace items into forms of striking elegance and spontaneity in a process that blends machinelike repetition with human impulsivity.
Anne Libby (b.1987, Los Angeles, CA) received her B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2009 and completed her M.F.A. from Bard College in 2017. In fall 2017, Libby presented new works in a solo exhibition at Zak’s Project Space in New York. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Violet’s Cafe, Brooklyn, NY; and Metropolitan Structures, Baltimore, MD. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Magenta Plains, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; 247365, New York, NY; and in Brooklyn at Signal, U.S. Blues, and 315 Gallery. Anne Libby currently lives and works in New York.