Sara Ludy, Unearth
Opening: Thursday March 28, 6 – 8 PM
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 6 PM & Sunday 12 – 6 PM
Unearth is informed by the mutability of the natural world. For her second solo exhibition with bitforms gallery, Sara Ludy applies attributes distinctive of her digital practice to sculpture. Transparent, enmeshed forms made of Waken Glass, a new medium developed by Upterior that unites glass and copper, transition immaterial elements of the artist’s visual language into three dimensions. The exhibition engages nature’s durational cycles of preservation and decay using real and virtual ornithological elements. A celestial union emerges, transforming the gallery into a hybrid aviary.
Subsurface Hell, Ludy’s inaugural solo exhibition with the gallery, presented a series of the artist’s investigations into organic environments. Clouds (2018) are a series of animated reliefs that render billowing canopies of water vapor into rhythm. The resulting landscape is mediated by generative motion of layered texture and color. New works in Unearth compound this methodology, casting abstract ephemerality into physical structures of Waken Glass. Perches (2018) appear empty, even vulnerable, floating in a tuft of blackened copper mesh. However, their glistening surfaces act as an offering, or site of potentiality that nods to the transience of the natural world.
As the exhibition continues, the spirit of an aviary unfolds. Nests (2018), sculptural habitats for imagined birds, sit opposite a live streamed projection of a nature cam. Frequently used for wildlife habitats or nature preserves, this video feed allows viewers to observe wildlife online. Trough 3 (2018) exists as a live streamed artwork, broadcast from a plinth in a nondescript high-rise. The sculpture remains unaffected as the world around it turns; birds soar to and from a neighboring sanctuary and the sun repeats its daily ritual of rising and setting. Trough 2 (2018) hangs from the ceiling in suspension. The artwork offers a similar experience to that of Perches and Nests—its silence calls for attention. Troughs inspire pause, a characteristic typically required for Ludy’s time-based work. Action is withheld from the artworks in an effort to accentuate the surrounding environment. The adjacent display of both Troughs further obscures the duality of lived experience and simulation. All streamed content is hosted online at www.birdsmadeearth.com.
Astral influences abound in Ludy’s work, encouraging the astronomical connection of the photo Cygnus (2019). The image, one of the artist’s inspirations for Unearth, depicts a swan in flight with wings outstretched, is only visible in isolated environments free of light pollution and cloud coverage. This elusive quality positions Cygnus somewhere between real and imagined. Refract (2018–19) also exists between these temporalities. While created with digital technology, the artwork is brought from the screen to canvas. The digital painting reflects imagery seen by the artist as varying layers of fractal depth. Prisms fold and disperse, unraveling the image plane like the reflective qualities of Waken Glass. Core Samples (2018) also speak to the stars, encapsulating explosive, stellar reactions. Shapes of molten copper imitate figures seen within the Clouds series. The artworks glow like pixels, transmuting the luster of the virtual world into winking stars.
Unearth is created in collaboration with Upterior. Upterior invests into research and development of new materials with applications in design, art, and architecture. All sculptures in the exhibition were created by Sara Ludy using patent-pending technology behind Waken Glass™ from Upterior ®. Through innovation and design, the company aims to strengthen and elevate the relationship between the person and the physical world. For more on Upterior and the invention of Waken Glass, visit www.upterior.com and Instagram @upterior.
The artist and gallery would like to thank LIFEWTR for their generous support.
b.1980, Orange, CA
Sara Ludy is an American artist working in a wide range of media including video, sound, animation, VR, AR, websites, audiovisual performance, sculpture, painting, photography, and installation. Through an interdisciplinary practice, hybrid forms emerge from the confluence of nature, architecture, abstraction, and the unconscious; reflecting an uncanny presence that questions our relationship to immateriality and space.
Previous exhibitions of Ludy’s work include the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago; Berkeley Art Museum, California; Honor Fraser, Los Angeles; bitforms gallery, New York; Postmasters Gallery, New York; Klaus von Nichtssagend, New York; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn; Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology, New York; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; Western Front, Vancouver; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Carroll Fletcher, London; Espace Verney-Carron, Lyon; and C-Space, Beijing.