Mirrors, plastic bottles, leather
March 8 – April 15, 2006
OPENING: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8TH, 6-8 PM
EXHIBITION DATES: MARCH 8 – APRIL 15, 2006
GALLERY HOURS: TUESDAY – SATURDAY 10-6 PM
Casey Kaplan is proud to present the first solo gallery exhibition of Brian Jungen in New York. The Vancouver based artist utilizes mass produced consumer goods and common materials in innovative and critical transformations that speak to a range of cultural, social and economic issues. Born in Fort St. John, British Columbia to a Swiss father and an Aboriginal mother from the Dane-zee tribe, Jungen is well known for projects such as the Prototype for New Understanding series (1998-2005), where disassembled Nike Air Jordan sneakers were reconfigured into twenty-three different simulations of Northwest Coast Aboriginal masks; and Shapeshifter (2000), one from a series of three large-scale whale skeletons constructed from white plastic lawn chairs.
In new sculpture and installation work, the artist continues to evoke specific cultural traditions while exposing complex relationships with contemporary global commerce. For this exhibition, Jungen transforms the outer skin of used baseballs and softballs into human-like skulls. The artist utilizes the scuffed white surface of sports balls to craft a unique ‘artefact.’ By doing such, he complicates the ‘identity’ of a consumer product, acknowledges its relationship to late capitalist production methods, and responds to corporate branding that uses “Indian” sports team tokens in a manner that best suits their purposes. In his current exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Jungen pushes the concept of employing animal ‘skin’ in a 20-foot teepee made from skinned black-leather sofas. Jungen approaches furniture, a leather upholstered commodity, as if it were an animal sought after for survival. Using its leather as hide for shelter and clothing the artist creates a tribute to the fundamental traditions of nomadic hunter/gather societies. This exhibition will include additional new work, currently in production for its site-specific presentation at the gallery.
Jungen graduated from the Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design in 1992. In 2002, he was awarded the inaugural Sobey Art Award. Solo exhibitions include, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Fransisco, CA; Triple Candie, New York; Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver; and the 2003 Vienna Secession, Austria. The first comprehensive survey of work by Brian Jungen is currently at the Vancouver Art Gallery after its debut at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. The exhibition, organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery, will travel to Musée d-arte Contemporain de Montréal, Quebec. The artist’s upcoming exhibition in the Level 2 gallery at Tate Modern, UK opens in May 2006.