In this body of work, Bednarek continues her longstanding practice of hand-crafting Johnson solids, as she describes them, “…a formally constricted group of theoretical objects following certain rules including convexity, symmetry on a certain number of planes, faces composed of regular polygons…” She alters the math that constructs these forms to create protrusions, to bore holes, to link them together and to turn them inside out. In this exhibition, she embellishes the skins of her sculptures by painting detailed patterns, carving textures, and affixing tactile materials. Inevitably these meticulously crafted objects contain idiosyncrasies and irregularities. They fail as perfect manifestations of theoretical geometry, and precisely for this reason, accomplish what Bednarek has set out to do: to frame abstract sculpture as a stage for contemplating the gray in politics, nature, art history and daily life.
For Sarah Bednarek, geometry and math directly reference the body and environment. She describes geometry as a tool to rationalize and calculate the world around us. Math of the everyday is messy. The eye measures distances in approximations, ordinary objects have dents and dings. Her works nod to this sort of fuzziness. They are human scale, roughly the size of the body, head, chest, genitalia and legs. This encourages her viewers to empathize with her sculptures as individuals. As we look, we might see a gaping mouth ready to scream, eat, vomit, or kiss. A figure may reveal itself in the midst of a gesture – maybe a wave or raising a hand in surrender. Are they covered in muscle? Tumors? Jewelry?
In terms of materiality, Bednarek’s work evokes the warmth of everyday architectural spaces. She constructs her hard-edged geometry of natural wood and adorns it with velvet, textures reminiscent of popcorn ceiling or stucco and patterns inspired by carpeting and upholstery in spaces where she spends time such as home and doctors’ offices. By invoking these spaces through textures that contrast her forms’ high-minded associations, her work is an understated autobiography and subtle prank. Thus, she slyly pokes feminist fun at her work’s Minimalist grandfathers’ notion of sculpture as rarefied object.
A set of limited-edition Risograph prints will accompany this exhibition. The six prints included vary in color from set to set and together form a repeating pattern with innumerable variations.
Tiger Strikes Asteroid’s 2018 Exhibition Program is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).