||March 18th - April 29th, 2011
Private View: Friday March 18th 6 - 8 pm
dm contemporary is pleased to present Michael Kukla's recent sculpture, painting, and drawing, in a solo exhibition – his first at dm contemporary – called Michael Kukla New Works. The exhibition opens at dm contemporary, NYC, on Friday, March 18th, and continues through April 29th, 2011.
Michael Kukla's common theme that unifies the work included in this exhibit stems from his fascination with decay and the disintegration of structure. It is therefore not surprising that this sense of disintegration is most evident in his sculpture, where solid slabs and blocks of marble or slate are hollowed out in varying degrees leaving them looking as if they had been exposed to the ravages of time or the evolutionary processes of nature. Kukla achieves that by drilling, grinding, chiseling and then sanding the stone to a smooth finish. The resulting forms that emerge range from sculptures where the block is almost intact with only parts of the surface affected such as Breathe, to sculptures where the whole block almost disintegrates and is reduced into a cluster of vein-like webs intertwined and barely connected as in Twisted.
Furthermore, the stone – seemingly impenetrable at first – takes on human characteristics after undergoing Kukla's process. Metaphorically speaking, it is as if revealing the delicate vein-like structures that branch out beneath the surface or 'skin' humanizes the stone, and exposes its fragility on the 'inside'.
Interestingly, Kukla's sculptures originate from his works on paper where the natural processes of evolution and decay are explored within the two dimensional constraints of the paper. To visually penetrate the paper's surface, the artist uses lines, cross-hatching, and shading to construct a tonal drawing that is spatially complex. The paintings, acrylic on panel, and the drawings, acrylic on paper or silverpoint on clay-coated paper, are mostly monochromatic with either black or white as the dominant color. Overlapping layers of gray range from light to dark or dark to light and create the spatial depth on the paper or panel. While the white paintings and drawings give the impression of looking through the 'openings' into the depth of matter, the black paintings and drawings evoke the feeling of being enclosed inside with the 'openings' providing a look through the dense layers to the outside.
Michael Kukla was born in 1963 in Prague, Czech Republic, and moved to the US in 1971. He works and lives in New York City and has studios in New Jersey and Vermont. He studied painting at Castleton State College in Vermont, where he received his BFA; and sculpture at Hochshule der Kuenste in Berlin, Germany. He has shown in the US and Europe and was featured live on Czech TV as the first American artist to exhibit in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia since the end of world war II. Among his many commissions for sculpture, Michael was hired by Apple Computer to create marble pedestals for the full line of Apple computers in the year 1992. His work is in many private collections.
dm contemporary, NYC, is located at: 39 East 29th Street between Park and Madison Avenues in New York (212) 576-2032
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org is requested for private view, which takes place on Friday, March 18th, 6 – 8 pm.
Gallery hours are: Wednesday – Friday 12 – 6 pm, and Saturday 12 – 4 pm.