Taking found imagery and film as a point of departure in her work, Marlo Pascual creates photo-based sculptures, installations, and images that employ strategies of artistic movements such as Conceptual Art, Surrealism, Minimalism, and Arte Povera. Re-examining the viewer’s relationship to the photograph, Pascual is interested in exposing an image’s active presence by playing with the relationship between the work, the space, and the viewer. By creating sites of engagement, whether that site is in the form of the domestic or the theatrical, the image is the catalyst.
Pascual culls her vintage pictures from eBay and thrift stores, some coming out of an amateur photography club where the photographers strive to take ‘artistic’ photos. They are of historical genres; still lifes, interiors and furniture, portraits, headshots, nudes, and pin-ups. When they arrive, the images are small, handheld, fetish-like objects. In an interplay with the photograph’s own physicality as an object, Pascual then enlarges, crops, and re-stages the images using minimalist objects, props and lighting to form new relationships. Filtered through her imagination, the subjects are removed from their previous context and recast in new roles.
Previously, Pascual has made serial works. Rocks act as paperweights, pinafores or anvils, obscuring the heads of the characters placed on the floor. Candle sconces anchor the images of wall-based prints, the flames of the shrinking candles streaming down the cheeks of the subjects while burning. Reminiscent of Charles Ray’s Plank Piece I-II, 1973, photographs are literally propped up or partially concealed by wooden planks that traverse the room, and in others, Flavin-like bulbs pierce images in simultaneous disfigurement and support.
For her first solo exhibition in the gallery, Pascual continues to break, acknowledge and play with the picture plane. Among others, a photograph bends up from floor to wall like a stage for the domestic prop placed upon it, an image of a wine glass and crystal decanter lies shattered on the floor, and slapstick characters call to each other across the wall. A table and chair provide the stage for a ‘homemade’ vintage pin up and moveable panels create a readymade living room. Characters and objects collide in artworks that capture the “construction” performed to create them. Marlo Pascual’s first solo exhibition in New York opened in January of 2009 at the Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art, New York.
Recently, Pascual closed an exhibition at the Sculpture Center, New York as part of the “In Practice” series, and it was announced that she is the recipient of the third Jane and Marc Nathanson Distinguished Artist in Residence at the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO for 2010. Group exhibitions include: “curated by_vienna ’09”, a city wide project that presented her work in a group show at Georg Kargl, Vienna (2009); “three person show,” curated by Amie Scally, White Columns, NY (2008); “Crop Rotation” curated by Clarissa Dalrymple, Marianne Boesky Gallery, NY (2008); and “Tales of the Grotesque”, curated by Gianni Jetzer, Karma International, Zürich, Switzerland (2008). Pascual completed her MFA at Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA in 2007. The artist lives and works in New York.
7 January – 13 February 2010
Casey Kaplan Gallery
525 W. 21st St.
New York, NY 10011