Reception: Saturday, February 25, 6 – 8 PM
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 6 PM & Sunday 12 – 6 PM
bitforms gallery is very pleased to continue its fifteen-year anniversary season with Fragments, Quayola’s second solo show with the gallery.
Born in Rome, Quayola’s practice is deeply affected by the grandeur and decay of ancient sculptures and Renaissance masterpieces that he encountered at an early age. Architectural façades, objects, and artworks that were once new chip, fade, crack, and break over the centuries. While the perception and reception of distressed frescoes or fractured sculptures is fluid, the work itself remains, containing a multitude of temporal narratives. Quayola translates this experience into his sculptures and works on paper and aluminum, which he presents in the exhibition as “simulated archaeological artifacts.”
Laocoön Fragments is a series of sculptures based on the Hellenistic sculpture Laocoön and His Sons. A paramount example of the Pergamene Baroque style, the work was endlessly copied—beginning in Roman times and through the nineteenth century—both as an artistic training device and due to its sheer popularity. Quayola inserts himself into this tradition with a digitally-driven approach. The artist’s software imagines and renders alternative breakages, fragmenting the work into two distinctive styles: representationally accurate sections and geometric abstractions coalesce into new forms. Made with a unique blend of pulverized iron powder mixed with resin, the sculptures are then chemically treated to cause an accelerated patina effect. The geometric sections are polished and waxed to achieve a smooth, newer appearance, while the representational segments appear oxidized and textured. Thus, the visual contrast between the “past” and “present” becomes more pronounced.
Iconographies is an ongoing project analyzing Renaissance and Baroque paintings through computer vision and custom software. Iconographic scenes from the annals of Western Art are rendered as geometric abstractions, removing narrative connotations. Quayola chooses the original subject matter by locating historical themes that often became technological apparatuses in and of themselves. In this body of work, within the larger Iconographies project, that theme is Judith and Holofernes. For several hundredsof years, this was the de rigueur subject matter to test new painting techniques. Compositional conventions and color schemes across history are analyzed through computer vision algorithms, generating what the artist describes as “new preparatory drawings” on anodized aluminum, a reductive chemical process. This series comprises sixty compositions, two of which are presented in Fragments.
Concurrently with Fragments, Lio Malca gallery is pleased to showcase Jardins d’Été, the latest video work by Quayola. Lio Malca is located at 526 West 26 Street, Suite 207. The gallery is open to the public from 10 AM-6 PM, Monday through Friday. For further inquiries, please email the gallery directly at email@example.com.
Quayola (b. 1982, Rome) employs technology as lens to explore the tensions and equilibriums between seemingly opposing forces: the real and artificial, figurative and abstract, old and new. Constructing immersive installations, often at historically significant architectural sites, he engages with and reimagines canonical imagery through contemporary technology. Hellenistic sculpture, Old Master painting, and Baroque architecture are some of the historical aesthetics that serve as a point of departure for Quayola’s abstract compositions. His varied practice, all deriving from custom computer software, also includes audiovisual performance, video, sculpture, and works on paper.