Primarily composed of plywood, and relying on balance and tension alone to maintain structural integrity, these new works by Chris Bogia signal a shift into abstraction and a departure from his previous installation works while maintaining his signature surface treatment of appliquéd yarn.
The exhibition is anchored by a series of wall compositions that rest in rectangular frames, embodying a style of geometric abstraction illustrative of mid-century modernist painting and it’s decorative domestic iterations. Eschewing paint, and relying on building materials and textiles, these works suggest sculptures of paintings (the frames and the shapes within are all cut from the same birch plywood sheet). Though designed and executed with precision, their handcrafted surface complicates this – suggesting the personal devotion of a maker: repetitive and calculated, careful and doting.
The aspect ratio and curvature of the frames, similar to that of the electronic devices we gaze at every day, create a context with which to interpret the abstractions within. Titles like Selfie w/Pink Eye, Angry Bird, Candle Shop, Crying, and The Last Book suggest the everyday nature of skimming through a photo feed or playing a video game on a mobile device.
The works are stabilized with tension and weight alone, and though their primary material – plywood – suggests durability, the colorful forms depicted are fragmented, interrupted, and precarious – an iphone screen shattered mid “like”. The gallery’s white wall is there too, peeking out between the shapes in every work – a purposefully overlooked construct turned material accomplice, a reminder that art exists, and falls apart, on multiple surfaces.
Chris Bogia was born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1977. He studied art at both New York University (BA 00’) and Yale University (MFA sculpture 04’). Bogia has been showing his work in New York and abroad for over 16 years, and currently lives and works in Queens, New York. Bogia is the co-founder and Director of the Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR), the first LGBTQ artist residency program located in Cherry Grove, on Fire Island, NY, as well as an instructor of sculpture at New York University. Recent exhibitions include Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community, curated by John Chaich at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian art in New York City, UIA (Unlikely Iterations of the Abstract), curated by Bill Arning at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston, and B-Out, curated by Scott Hug at Andrew Edlin Gallery. Awards include the Alice Kimball Traveling Fellowship and the Larry Kramer Initiative research grant for Lesbian and Gay Studies.
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