Bart Simpson Patch (Aqua), 2018
Hydrostone, stainless steel armature, pigment, and varnish
87 x 53 x 1.5 inches
221 x 134.6 x 3.8 cm
Morán Morán is pleased to announce Daniel Arsham’s third exhibition at the gallery, titled Character Study. This show presents new work that explores the artist’s relationship to color and light, as well as his interest in cycles and patterns as they relate to time, matter, and pop-culture.
In the first part of the exhibition, iconic cartoon characters cast from vintage patches, enlarged to a fantastical scale, appear familiar and playful as they hang throughout the gallery. Some of these appropriated pop-images, such as Bart Simpson, Bugs Bunny, and Felix the Cat, are from of the artist’s own childhood collection of patches that covered the Jansport backpack he owned during his school years in the 90s.
These oversized patch works are cast using a plaster material, however, the expected colors scheme was not used. Instead, the pieces are pure white, half painted in a chiaroscuro style. This technique uses a gradual field of color to imply a shadow across the work, bringing attention to the texture and intricate detail of the embroidery. The pigment is dusted over the surface, allowing gravity to determine where the color lands. Arsham states: “When I began delving into the use of color, my colorblindness was a factor. I compensated for my lack of understanding the universe of color by viewing my surroundings in terms of light and shadows. This color chiaroscuro technique is an exploration of that.”
In the second part of the exhibition, the concept of the angle of repose is present in an installation that consists of sand piles arranged in a Fibonacci pattern, which surrounds a sculpture of the moon. Chiaroscuro is also present here, this time as a single light source that illuminates the installation from the back wall of the gallery. The light points from a single direction, creating a similar effect as the paint on the patch pieces.
“Through my studies about material and how it relates to form, I’ve begun to experiment with the angle of repose. This idea relates to the painted pigment as well as the sand work. The pigment settles on the material, and due to gravity, only to the highest surfaces. This has to do with the weight of the material and gravity. The shape that these piles of sand form is defined by the angle of repose: the finer the sand, the higher a peak it can achieve; the more coarse the texture, the shallower the peak. This is a rare occasion where you are able to view physical properties of a material based on what the material wants to do itself. The form defines the shape.”
Daniel Arsham (b. 1980, Cleveland, OH) is a New York-based artist. He is a graduate of Cooper Union, and a recipient of the Gelman Trust Fellowship. His work has shown nationally at MoMA PS1, New York, NY; Perez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL; New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY; Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA; The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; and at the Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, OH. Internationally, he has shown at the Athens Biennale, Athens, Greece; Carré d’Art de Nîmes, Nîmes, France; and at the Saatchi Gallery, London, UK. Arsham’s work is included in public collections at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL; LVMH Collection, Paris, France; and Centre Pompidou, Paris, France.