Exhibition

Dwight Cassin: Oronsay

19 Mar 2022 – 17 Apr 2022

Regular hours

Saturday
12:00 – 19:00
Sunday
12:00 – 18:00
Wednesday
11:00 – 18:00
Thursday
11:00 – 18:00
Friday
11:00 – 18:00

Free admission

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Art Cake

New York
New York, United States

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Art Cake is pleased to present Dwight Cassin’s first solo exhibition in New York. On view, March 19 through April 17, 2022, will be a selection of sculptures made of wood created over the last two years.

About

Art Cake is pleased to present Dwight Cassin’s first solo exhibition in New York. On view, March 19 through April 17, 2022, will be a selection of sculptures made of wood created over the last two years. Cassin’s practice exists within a discourse of materials and repeated procedures and gestures. He explores the idiosyncrasies in wood to create sculptural works that evoke an emotive essence.

Cassin works intuitively. Drawing from his background in furniture making, his process involves breaking and rejoining forms, torching surfaces, and applying pin nails and paint to create intimately-sized, freestanding sculptures. In most cases, he has manipulated the wood by hand, creating juxtapositions of positive and negative space. The sculptures embody an organic quality in their form and texture. Cassin paints each sculpture in one color, often choosing dark and vibrant green hues. In an artist statement, he notes, “The heavily worked surfaces contrast with the minimal forms, looking for a moment of balance and disclosure.” Collectively, the group of works establish a sense of harmony among the cyclical process, repeated gestures, and complex forms.

A tension between abstraction and figuration is present throughout Cassin’s body of work. Balanced meticulously on three, four, or ten legs, the sculptures employ anthropomorphic characteristics, yet their forms are ambiguous. Gestures may be familiar but are usually not identifiable nor do they pertain to one distinct figure. Instead, Cassin investigates a myriad of animal forms, and is interested in their relation to one another and how they engage, respond, and activate human emotions.

On view in Art Cake’s second floor gallery is a selection of sculptures that are part of a larger body of recent work developed after Cassin visited Wael Shawky’s 2015 solo exhibition at MoMA PS1 in New York. The show presented Shawky’s video trilogy Cabaret Crusades (2010-2014) which incorporated historic and contemporary marionettes to recount the history of The Crusades from an Arab perspective. Cassin notes, “in Shawky’s interview with Alison Hearst at The Modern, Fort Worth, discussing the Cabaret Crusades, Shawky talks about how his handmade marionettes are metaphors that stand in for actors. I admire how he was able to take potent and nuanced emotions and distill them into a small figure with human and animal features. In my case, animal figures are also metaphors that stand in for human emotions.” In his sculptural works, Cassin is interested in probing human emotions through his distinct color palette and through the multitude of forms available in the animal world.

For example, Hanna’s Kip (2021) depicts a winged creature. Measuring twenty-five inches tall, the figure is balanced on four tall, narrow legs. Two wing-like forms are erect and extend parallel vertically from the figure’s torso as if preparing to take flight. The figure has an assertive presence because of its pronounced upright posture. It’s exterior surface, painted a deep emerald, is marked with consecutive rounded angles forming ridges in its silhouette.

ABOUT DWIGHT CASSIN

Dwight Cassin was born in Evanston, Illinois, and received his B.A. in Religion from Bowdoin College in Maine. In 2020, his work was featured in a group exhibition, Friend and Foe, at Santa Clara University, California, and in Far x Wide’s project, Willing the Season, a benefit for The Campaign Against Hunger in Brooklyn. The same year, a sculpture was included in Issue 16 of ArtMaze Magazine, curated by Scott Ogden. Cassin has attended artist residency programs, including the Vermont Studio Center. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

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