Asya Geisberg Gallery is pleased to present "Insoluble Bonds," an exhibition of sculptural assemblage by Trish Tillman. This will be the artist's first solo exhibition in New York.
Tillman marries colorful ropes, flinty costume jewelry, strips of leather or fabric, and human hair alongside industrial components as a means of exploring notions of gender play, ritual, and the presentation of the self. Elements alternately hang, drape or penetrate, often mirroring each other in symmetry, or opposing hard with soft, flow with stasis, or gravity with banality. Within her unique sculptural vocabulary, each boundary surprises - via attraction, repulsion, symbiosis, permeation, or thwarting contact. Unlikely yet compelling bedfellows warrant a recherché oeuvre, as the inanimate is quickly transformed by the artist's unorthodox aestheticism. Evading stylistic categorization, Tillman conflates a post-minimalist sensibility with postmodern materiality, fusing the quotidian with the obscure. Eschewing the nostalgia for concrete meaning, the artist exceeds mere juxtaposition and instead assumes an entirely carte-blanche sculptural cannon not unlike Richard Tuttle, Isa Genzken, or Rachel Harrison.
In "Insoluble Bonds" seldom do materials meld. Here substances conflict rather than transform, as Tillman focuses on the liminal zones rather than any entirety. Impenetrable surfaces allow only proximity, yet there is a porous quality to these pairings. Draping, threading and weaving induce a malleability, allowing shifts from one state to another. Like the two-headed Janus, a physical embodiment of the betwixt, Tillman's work captures a perpetual transition to which the conclusion is irrelevant. Many of Tillman's works have in common a state of suspension, and this "hanging in the balance" seems to reverberate conceptually through every piece, as if in perpetual limbo.
In Tillman's prior work, the talismanic and ritualistic themes were implied via more organic, hand-made, primordial or mythic means, as feathers, animal horns, or basketry pointed to a fantasy of a distant culture. In "Insoluble Bonds" these themes have progressed to a reckoning with the rituals and daily interactions we may have today. Slow Easy Stride hovers at the periphery of fetishistic ritual. Avoiding ham-fisted connotations the work instead conjures a litany of gender and ritualistic scenarios. An almost functional looping of fine leather tassels allows a conceptual ping-pong between samurai warrior and pseudo-sexual ensemble. Whether in gleaming chrome or painted rope, Tillman's sculptures crystallize the enigmatic secret relationships we have with objects and materials, as we pursue an increasingly digitized and mono-cultural materiality.
Trish Tillman was born in Chicago and lives and works in New York. She received an MFA from School of Visual Arts and a BFA from James Madison University. Tillman has had group exhibitions at Present Company, NY; Cindy Rucker Gallery, NY; Regina Rex, NY; Emerson Dorsch, FL; and Elephant Art Space, CA, among others. Solo exhibitions include Civilian Art Projects, Washington, DC, and the Arlington Arts Center, VA. She is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant in 2009. Tillman was included in the group exhibition "TOTEM" at Asya Geisberg Gallery in 2013.