Blue Angels
Exhibition view
Blue Angels
Exhibition view
Blue Angels
Exhibition view
Blue Angels
Exhibition view
Blue Angels
Exhibition view
Blue Angels
Exhibition view
Blue Angels
Exhibition view

Blue Angels

18.10.2012 - 24.11.2012

Main space

Download exhibition press release


Christophe Gaillard Gallery is pleased to present Blue Angels, the first solo exhibition by New York-based artist Michelle Lopez in Paris.
The exhibition is composed of a new series of (4) ten-foot tall, mirrored, aluminum forms, that continue the artist’s investigation of sculptural history and its breakdown. In this instance, Lopez looks to the legacy of Minimalism in order to examine the fascist quality of the monolith.

Christophe Gaillard Gallery is pleased to present Blue Angels, the first solo exhibition by New York-based artist Michelle Lopez in Paris.
The exhibition is composed of a new series of (4) ten-foot tall, mirrored, aluminum forms, that continue the artist’s investigation of sculptural history and its breakdown. In this instance, Lopez looks to the legacy of Minimalism in order to examine the fascist quality of the monolith. Specifically large-scale and wall-based, Lopez’ Blue Angels reference both Chamberlain and McCracken. They each lean against the wall, having been manipulated to sag and endowed with a feather-like paper quality that negates the finish fetish. This body of work continues the artist’s trajectory examining notions of gravity, the spectator’s activation of the piece, and finally failure. And with this pretext, Lopez examines the loaded repeat of forms, of Minimalism, and even of human experience as each sculpture seems to either be gaining strength to stand, or collapsing in on itself after great exertion.
As a cultural frame of reference, “Blue Angels” are US Navy demonstration flying planes, meant for acrobatic aerial display, that create both a spectacle and a spectatorship sport of old flying technology, without the bravado or cruelty of war. Lopez folds this fetished contradiction of object into her forms. The mirrored surface of the exterior gathers the industrial reference of an airplane wing and implicates the viewer through its reflective distortions. The interior of the work is finished with automotive/vehicle paint, selected through the lens of airline colors. For this particular body of the work, the colors come specifically from the orange-red of Delta Airlines and the powder blue of Korean Air. Yet these archetypes, among others, are on the verge of collapse.
Among the four Blue Angels, there is one matte white, powder-coated aluminum piece that has a jet-black interior and evokes a large piece of paper. Again, Lopez defies expectation of the material and turns industrial aluminum into a crumpled delicate form. Despite the assembly-line materials, the artist approaches the work as a drawing and manipulates each work herself. This white work is a more overt association with sculpture as drawing.
Michael Wilson of Artforum reviewed Blue Angels when the first interation of the series appeared at Simon Preston Gallery in New York: “Turning Minimalist form against itself is hardly a new idea-one might even consider, it a genre unto itself- but it still offers room for maneuver. In Vertical Neck, her second solo exhibition at Simon Preston, Brooklyn-based artist Michelle Lopez presented a strong, clean suite of five new sculptures that capitalize on the movement’s enduring legacy but sidestep parody and polemic to arrive at a more subtly allusive language.... Three roughly folded and heavily crumpled sheets of aluminum lean against the wall and tower above head height, their interiors painted blue or black, their exteriors white or colorlessly reflective.The suggestion that attempts at formal perfection are necessarily doomed to failure is clear, but in their fun- house-mirror distortions, these works direct that argument at not only artistic folly but also the viewer’s own vanities and imperfections. Still, the news isn’t all bad; there’s an insinuation in the aluminum’s shiny. paper- like surfaces of gift wrap, a hint of celebration and renewal.... [T]here is a hint of nose-thumbing at the consistent anality of the Guys, but Lopez’s remake is more understated, more extensive, more radical-and a lot more appealing-than that might imply.” (Artforum, November 2011)
Eight ink drawings on watercolor paper, which are studies for the series, will be presented for the first time. And the mirrored aluminum Blue Angels are new works (2012) created for this exhibition.
Michelle Lopez received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York and BA from Barnard College, Columbia University, New York. Lopez has had solo exhibitions at Simon Preston Gallery, LA><ART, Los Angeles; Deitch Projects, New York; Feature Inc., New York; and Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan, Italy. She was included in Greater New York, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City (2000); New York; Public Art Fund, Metrotech Center, New York (2000); and California Biennial, OCMA, Orange County, CA (2004). She was awarded a NYFA grant in the category of sculpture (2011), a NYFA fiscal sponsorship (2009). In Fall 2012, Lopez recently joined the Yale Department of Art as full time faculty in the department of sculpture. Michelle Lopez lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Michelle Lopez, Blue angels
Solo exhibition from October 18 to November 24, 2012
Opening on October 18, from 6 pm to 11 pm for the gallery night during the FIAC