February 24, 2017

Kate Newby is currently participating in the show In Practice: Material Deviance at the Sculpture Center.

Kate Newby, "Two aspirins a vitamin C tablet and some baking soda", at Laurel Doody, 2015

Informed by encounters with the quotidian, unassuming stuff of life and its circulation, the artists included in Material Deviance connect material and bodily processes with social and infrastructural ones. The artists look to irregularities, glitches, gaps, residues, and altered states – either found or enacted – as a means of accessing the latent histories of materials in order to expose underlying systems of power, regulation, value, and control. While these systems inevitably shape the movement of bodies through the world (both at the level of the individual and the social), the works on view reveal the cracks where counter-movements and improvisational modes of being and perceiving are possible.

Some of the artists in the exhibition produce material dissonance by rearranging narratives, altering properties, leaving traces of actions, and otherwise making the familiar strange, while others mine the inherent deviations and fissures they find in materials, pointing to the ways that things – like bodies – manage to exceed and even disrupt the systems that attempt to contain them. Often resisting the arrival of a fixed or final state, the artists instead offer a mode of perpetual and intimate exchange that occurs when bodies and materials move alongside or in friction with one another – teasing out the circuitous, and sometimes absurd, movements found between uniformity and difference, function and non-function, control and subversion.

The exhibition features newly commissioned works by Lauren Bakst & Yuri Masnyj, Olivia Booth, Kim Brandt, Crystal Z Campbell, Danielle Dean, Ilana Harris-Babou, Jesse Harrod, Candice Lin and Patrick Staff, Virginia Lee Montgomery, Kate Newby, Barb Smith, Marian Tubbs, and Jessica Vaughn.Through associative, deconstructed, or non-linear narratives that place past and present in dialogue, Danielle Dean and Crystal Z Campbell examine histories of objects and places, excavating the material and ideological structures that produce, regulate, and mediate subjects. Residues of human activity and the anatomy of SculptureCenter’s unconventional spaces serve as points of departure for Kate Newby‘s quiet sculptural interventions that exist in various states of transition, while Barb Smith presses memory foam mattresses into new forms, defying the polyurethane’s capacities to erase imprints of the body while retaining permanent impressions left by the sculpture’s intimate and messy production. Through performances that incorporate objects and materials in uncanny, absurd, or non-functional ways, Ilana Harris-Babou and artist team Lauren Bakst & Yuri Masnyj subvert hierarchies of value and utility. Works assembled by Marian Tubbs trouble naturalized ascriptions of value through explorations of the circuitous relationships between people, ecosystems, and non-biodegradable plastics, and Olivia Booth melts elements like mirrors and smartphone screens to expose the optical and material results of production, trade, and regulation. Candice Lin and Patrick Staff release an anti-androgen-laced fog into the exhibition space that purports to temporarily alter the hormonal levels of those who pass through, emphasizing the permeability of the body’s boundaries. Across sculpture, installation, and video Jessica Vaughn, Jesse Harrod, and Virginia Lee Montgomery take up formal and material systems of regulation, repetition, and standardization in order to explore the (often subversive) deviations, excesses, and differences found within. Kim Brandt’s exhibition-length cyclical and accumulative performance scores swell from the individual to the collective and back, allowing an evolving ecosystem of difference to emerge from the whole.

In Practice: Material Deviance is curated by Sculpture Center’s 2017 Curatorial Fellow Alexis Wilkinson in Long Island City, NY until March 27th 2017.

For more information about the exhibition, visit the Sculpture Center.

For more information about Kate Newby please contact the gallery:



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