September 16, 2016

Jonathan Schipper @ Rice Gallery, Houston

Jonathan Schipper
Rice Gallery, Houston

6 October - 4 December 2016

Jonathan Schipper
Slow Inevitable Death of American Muscle, 2008

JONATHAN SCHIPPER, known for his time-based, kinetic installations, will create Cubicle, a new installation for Rice Gallery. Schipper’s works reveal the flow of time as imperceptible until, as in life, we see the physical evidence of its passing. In his Slow Inevitable Death of American Muscle, 2008, two full-size automobiles crush into one another to simulate the force of a 30 mph head-on collision slowed down to unfold over several days. For Cubicle, Jonathan Schipper will construct an office setting that will undergo subtle, yet inescapable changes over two months. The opening celebration will take place on Thursday, October 6 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, and will feature remarks by Jonathan Schipper at 6:00 pm.

Jonathan Schipper notes the role of physics in his work, saying, “The most static object is still in motion at a molecular level and the world is always changing. Even if the object was this perfect thing that stayed the same, we as a society change how we view it. My installations are about destruction and creation, and they generally have no static point. It is the process of changing them that is the point.” Cubicle will be Jonathan Schipper’s newest work in his ongoing Slow Room series. For his installation, Slow Room, 2014 in State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Jonathan Schipper drew upon the museum convention of the period room, where from behind a barrier visitors see a staged room offering what seems to be a glimpse into the past. Jonathan Schipper scoured thrift stores and secondhand shops to create a cozy-looking, old-fashioned American living room with striped wallpaper, yellow floral print couch and matching chairs, coffee table, knick-knacks, and even a small piano. Each object was connected to a string threaded through a tiny hole in the room’s rear wall. Behind the wall, a mechanical winch Jonathan Schipper had modified pulled everything into the hole. Repeat visitors over the four-month course of the exhibition could track the plodding collapse of the once staid-looking room into a chaotic clump of debris.

Attracted to the creative power of destruction as well as cultural obsolescence, Jonathan Schipper chose a cubicle-filled office space for his Rice Gallery installation as a symbol of a not-too-distant past. What began as a utopian promise of increased workplace comfort and privacy for employees has now fallen out of fashion with the reemergence of the open-plan office. With its utopian veneer stripped away, the basic office cubicle may conjure despair and entrapment. In Cubicle, Jonathan Schipper will take this loaded symbol and subject it to his signature method of ongoing mechanical stress.

Jonathan Schipper was born in Chico, California in 1973. He received a BFA in sculpture from San Francisco Art Institute in 1996, an MFA from Rinehart School of Sculpture at Maryland Institute College of Art in 1998, and was awarded a fellowship from Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine in 2001. Jonathan Schipper has exhibited throughout the United States and Europe, including the Swiss Institute, New York, New York; Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas; and Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland. He lives and works in New York and is represented by Pierogi, New York.

6100 Main Street - Houston, Texas 77005

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