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“Soft Segments” at 326 Gallery
June 30 - July 28
326 Gallery is pleased to present “Soft Segments,” an exhibition curated by Anna Hugo featuring works by Patrick Roman Scherer, Paulette Penje, and Oliver Cry. This exhibition is a gathering of drawings, video-performance, documentation, and sculpture. Each of these artists present a fragment of their work relating to endurance and repetition.
Patrick Roman Scherer, a Vienna-based artist, debuts his sculptural drawings in New York. His obsession with pencil and paper becomes palpable when looking at his drawings. He works with the spontaneous softness of a 9H pencil and uses the blunt darkness of a 9B to create varying degrees of depth. The detail-oriented graphite marks and repetitive patterns are produced through his severe rejection of color and lack of patience. He is known for his large-scale drawn installations of palm trees looming over Persian carpets, beer cans, and basketball hoops that collectively give the viewer the capacity to engage with the artist’s focus on playful situations.
These situations reflect and intersect with the actions Paulette Penje undertakes in her video performances. “I Wish I was a Dancer” and “Mehl/Atem” refer to performances by Maria Hassabi, Jerome Bel, and Vito Acconci. “I Wish I was a Dancer” is a reaction of Hassabi’s piece “Staging,” which was performed at Documenta 14 in Kassel, Germany in 2017 and featured dancers move very slowly on a pink carpet. At the same time in Italy, Jerome Bel was showing his piece “Danzare come se nessuno stesse guardando” [Dance like nobody was watching] at the Centro Pecci in Prato where the dancers were rolling over a similar pink carpet. As a result of the combination of the two, Penje decided to take initiative in New York and roll down the Williamsburg bridge. In her second piece, she presents a photograph titled “Atem/Mehl,” a re-enactment of the 1970 video “Flour/Breath Piece” by Vito Acconci, in which the artist covers himself in flour attempts to blow it off his skin. Penje recreates that same act and exhibits here a segment in the form of a video still, revealing a single moment of the performance to the public.
Oliver Cry, a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist, presents a new body of work called “Pre-Sculpture”. With these two figures—part of a series of 30—Cry makes an attempt to distort the figure and embrace its flaws. The cracks are an important aspect in his works, as they highlight a natural breaking while resisting their own materiality. These sculptures are a self-reflection on an existentialist crisis—a conflict that is portrayed by a dominance in weight and height, but remains fragile. Skinny and exposed, the figures are placed in relationship to the works by Penje and Scherer. Together, these acts of relentless repetition create moments of self-imposed, poetic physicalities.