Night Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Josh Callaghan’s Social Block, an installation
that inaugurates the gallery’s new outdoor exhibition space.
Social Block takes its inspiration from the humble cinder block, among the most ubiquitous
elements of the modern human built environment. At approximately 2.3 times normal scale,
Social Block forms a new relationship to the human body, existing at the juncture of sculpture,
furniture, and architecture.
In designing Social Block, Callaghan drew from William H. Whyte’s The Social Life of Small Urban
Spaces, a seminal work of urban research into the interactions of crowds with public parks and
plazas. Whyte’s concept of triangulation, the “process by which some external stimulus provides
a linkage between people and prompts strangers to talk to each other as though they were not"
is a guiding principle of this project. Social Block has utility.
Alongside his installation, Callaghan presents another sculptural work, “Head,” 2020, which
employs similar enlarged cinder blocks to create a rudimentary sculpture of a human figure.
Hearkening back to the moai (monolithic sculptures) of Easter Island, whose production
deforested the island to the point of becoming uninhabitable, “Head” may suggest a society’s
continued desire to reflect and immortalize ourselves through art in an era of ever-dwindling
Social Block emerges from an intersection of aesthetic influences – in the artist’s words, “John
Carpenter theme park meets Isamu Noguchi garden.” The installation is a tableau, an associative
landscape onto which the viewer is invited to project the long arc of human history and its
cycles of construction, destruction, and renewal.
Josh Callaghan (b. 1969, Doylestown, Pennsylvania) lives and works in Los Angeles. In addition to a solo
exhibition at Night Gallery in October 2017, he has had solo exhibitions at Harmony Murphy Gallery, Los
Angeles; Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles; Haas & Fischer Gallery, Zurich; Bank Gallery, Los
Angeles; Royale Projects, Palm Desert, CA; as well as public projects in cities across the US as well as
abroad. In 2020, he will participate in a two person exhibition at Carpintaria by Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil. Group exhibitions include Weather Report, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum;
Current LA: Water, Public Art Biennale, Los Angeles; Vapegoat Rising, Arturo Bandini at Ballroom Marfa,
Marfa, TX; Made in Space, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York; and Frieze Sculpture Park, Frieze New York.
Social Block is his second solo exhibition at Night Gallery.