September 24 - October 30
Saturday, September 24, 5-8pm
Re-imagining the basics of structure and image, Rachel Beach's skillfully constructed architectonic objects curiously hover between sign and real, visible and invisible. Highlighting the tension between artificial and natural, Beach’s new series of sculptures methodically combine contrasting surfaces of trompe l’oeil veneers with salvaged construction beams left in their aged condition. Brightly painted edges carve out illusions of space from the chunky cuts of wood. In dialogue with the sculptures are new silkscreens in which monochromatic patterns of formal geometric abstraction become symbols of space.
The works in Distance Trance combine form and image, structure and surface. Made of parts and marks, segments and sections, the geometric works suggest a building up, a tallying, construct and language. There is development and progress but there is also void. The emptiness between things – the very edge of things – is as essential as the things themselves, conflating assertion with reflection, negative space with physicality, progress with loss, logic with magic. What is blunt and factual becomes mysterious and inexplicable. Perceptual and spatial ambiguity invade otherwise rational systems.
The works are architectural, creating physical space and riffing on structure, but they are also archeological. They present parts of stories and missing information; they resonate with specific but unknowable function, making reference to our distant history when civilization was first stirring and to our unknown future.
Formally the works are linear but weighty. They trace lines through the air, framing voids, delineating planes and creating sightlines and vistas. They present a back and forth between what is and isn’t there, asking us to consider how we see and what we believe.
Rachel Beach is a Brooklyn-based artist originally from Waterloo ON, Canada. She received an MFA from Yale University and BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Recent awards and grants include a Socrates Sculpture Park Fellowship, a Residency at the LES Printshop and a Canada Council for the Arts grant. Her work has been exhibited at Blackston Gallery, Lennon Weinberg and Mixed Greens in New York and Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and PlugIn Institute of Contemporary Art in Canada. Reviews of her work have appeared in The New York Times, Art in America and the Brooklyn Rail.
This exhibition is made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts, and with generous support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Concordia Foundation and Smack Mellon’s Members.
Smack Mellon’s programs are also made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and New York City Council Member Stephen Levin, and with generous support from The New York Community Trust, The Greenwall Foundation, The Robert Lehman Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Lambent Foundation Fund of the Tides Foundation, Bloomberg, The Greenwich Collection LTD, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation Inc., Helena Rubinstein Foundation, Brooklyn Community Foundation, 2010 JPMorgan Chase Regrant Program administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and Foundation for Contemporary Arts.
Space for Smack Mellon’s programs is generously provided by the Walentas family and Two Trees Management.