Birch Contemporary

Micah Lexier: Old Drawings / New Sculptures / Old Sculptures

Micah Lexier:

Old Drawings, New Sculptures, Old Sculptures

Birch Contemporary

October 17 to November 23, 2013

Micah Lexier’s exhibition Old Drawing, New Sculptures, Old Sculptures consists of a selection of older drawings which have never been exhibited before, presented in relation to new and existing wall-mounted sculptures.

The three sculptures that constitute the New Sculptures component of the exhibition are based on found diagrams and technical illustrations. Lexier has enlarged each diagram, removed the existing marking system and replaced it with a few hand-drawn letters. The sculptures are waterjet-cut from aluminum, painted a warm grey and wall-mounted. It is not immediately obvious that the letters spell out words, but they do; each sculpture is, in fact, a different word. The three sculptures spell out the first three words of a phrase that the artist’s mother was fond of, and famous for, saying. Each sculpture is a stand-alone artwork, but it is the artist’s intention to eventually make a sculpture of each of the words that make up the sixteen-word phrase. This new sculptural series is a continuation of Lexier’s interest in graphic mark making, games and wordplay. 

These three new sculptures are being presented in relation to a number of drawings made between 1997 and 2002. The earliest series of drawings is from Lexier’s A Minute of My Time project, which comprised drawings that took exactly one minute to execute. There are twelve pieces in this particular series from 1997, and each was made by drawing directly on a piece of paper that had been pre-printed with a rendering of the corner of a room. It is a unique suite of works within Lexier’s prodigious A Minute of My Time project. Lexier is also exhibiting a number of drawings from the White Out Animation series, produced while he was living in New York City in 2002. This series was created by applying white correction fluid over photocopied dictionary illustrations. In some cases the photocopies were made on bond paper and, in other cases, on vellum. Again Lexier is working serially, using the correction fluid to conceal different parts of the same drawing to reveal and create new imagery.

Although the old drawings and the new sculptures were made over a decade apart, were made of radically different materials, and are presented at different scales, they are united by Lexier’s sustained interest in combining found imagery with marks made by his own hand. Both the drawings and sculptures retain the integrity of their original source imagery, but are indelibly altered by Lexier’s subtle and sensitive interventions.

In addition to the new sculptures, which are being presented in the front space of Birch Contemporary, the back gallery will host the old drawings placed in relation to a small but careful selection of older wall-mounted sculptures.