FEBRUARY 17 - MARCH 17, 2007

MICHAEL QUEENLAND: BREAD & BALLOONS

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MICHAEL QUEENLAND: BREAD & BALLOONS

17 February – 17 March 2007

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 17, 6-8 pm

Harris Lieberman is pleased to present Bread & Balloons, Michael Queenland’s first New York solo exhibition.

Queenland’s work conveys a sense of ephemera through a resistance to overt representation, encouraging personal exploration and analytic effort by the viewer. Through his sculptures, photographs, and installations, he shifts traditional symbolic associations, abstracting familiar objects without eliminating their original forms. The resulting works have an aura of mystery despite the familiarity of their content.

The title of the exhibition, Bread & Balloons, refers to its main sculptural elements, and reflects the artist’s interest in the relationship between language and form. Queenland cast a range of balloons in a variety of materials (plaster, latex, bronze) and juxtaposes them with enlarged porcelain replicas of rustic breads. Scattered throughout the gallery, Queenland’s sculptures lie in cornucopian baskets, dangle from the ceiling on long industrial chains, and rest on bases inspired by the sculptures of Constantin Brancusi. By casting his breads in porcelain, the artist removes all practical purpose, aligning them with the decorative and whimsical qualities already inherent to balloons. The absurd combination of these two disparate elements questions conventional distinctions between objects, and their formal arrangements hint at undertones of sexuality.

In addition to these sculptures, Queenland presents a new series of color photographs, enlarged snapshots of a snowy night viewed from the window of his Brooklyn apartment. Queenland aims to extend the liminal state evoked by his sculptures and photographs through the construction of a blank, unoccupied hallway, capped by two doors, which serves as a threshold from the front gallery into the smaller rear space.

Michael Queenland received an MFA from UCLA in 2002. In 2005 his work was featured in Michael Queenland: Photographs, Sculptures and Shaker Classics at the ICA at MECA in Maine and MASSart in Boston. In December 2006 he was named a United States Artists Fellow. From 2004-2005 Queenland was a resident artist at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Recent exhibitions include Civil Restitutions at Thomas Dane Gallery in London, Trace at the Whitney Museum at Altria in New York, and Frequency at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

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