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Lucy Skaer / Murray Guy

Lucy Skaer: Sticks & Stones
10 January - 21 February 2015

Murray Guy
453 West 17th Street
New York, NY 10011



Installation View, Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York

Installation View, Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York
Installation View, Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York
Installation View, Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York

Sticks & Stones I
2013–2015
Sinker mahogany, Burmese blackwood, tin, coins, lithographic stone, ceramic, copper, American walnut, tiger’s eye, carnelian
151 x 29 1/2 x 2 1/2, 141 1/4 x 21 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches 
383.5 x 75 x 6.4, 359 x 54.6 x 6.4 cm  
Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York

(detail) Sticks & Stones I
2013–2015
Sinker mahogany, Burmese blackwood, tin, coins, lithographic stone, ceramic, copper, American walnut, tiger’s eye, carnelian
151 x 29 1/2 x 2 1/2, 141 1/4 x 21 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches
383.5 x 75 x 6.4, 359 x 54.6 x 6.4 cm  
Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York

Sticks & Stones II
2013–2015
Ceramic
152 x 28 x 2 1/2 inches, 141 x 23 x 2 1/2inches
386 x 71 x 6.4, 358 x 58.5 x 6.4 cm
Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York

(detail) Sticks & Stones II
2013–2015
Ceramic
152 x 28 x 2 1/2 inches, 141 x 23 x 2 1/2inches
386 x 71 x 6.4, 358 x 58.5 x 6.4 cm
Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York

Sticks & Stones III
2013–2015
Blue Savoy marble, malachite
151 1/2 x 26 x 2 1/2, 141 3/4 x 22 x 2 1/2 inches
385 x 66 x 6.4, 360 x 56 x 6.4 cm 
Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York

(detail) Sticks & Stones III
2013–2015
Blue Savoy marble, malachite
151 1/2 x 26 x 2 1/2, 141 3/4 x 22 x 2 1/2 inches
385 x 66 x 6.4, 360 x 56 x 6.4 cm 
Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York

Sticks & Stones IV
2013–2015
Aluminum, gunmetal
148 1/2 x 28 x 2 1/2, 141 3/4 x 24 x 2 1/2 inches
377 x 71 x 6.4, 360 x 61 x 6.4 cm
Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York

(detail) Sticks & Stones IV
2013–2015
Aluminum, gunmetal
148 1/2 x 28 x 2 1/2, 141 3/4 x 24 x 2 1/2 inches
377 x 71 x 6.4, 360 x 61 x 6.4 cm
Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York

(detail) Sticks & Stones IV
2013–2015
Aluminum, gunmetal
148 1/2 x 28 x 2 1/2, 141 3/4 x 24 x 2 1/2 inches
377 x 71 x 6.4, 360 x 61 x 6.4 cm
Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York

Sticks & Stones V
2013–2015
Maple, oak, Paraná pine, yew, Douglas fir, cedar of Lebanon
149 x 28 x 2 1/2, 141 1/2 x 24 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches
378.5 x 71 x 6.4, 359.4  x 62 x 6.4 cm
Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York

(detail) Sticks & Stones V
2013–2015
Maple, oak, Paraná pine, yew, Douglas fir, cedar of Lebanon
149 x 28 x 2 1/2, 141 1/2 x 24 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches
378.5 x 71 x 6.4, 359.4  x 62 x 6.4 cm
Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York






“It was all so nearly alike it must be different and it is different, it is natural that if everything is used and there is a continuous present and a beginning again and again if it is all so alike it must be simply different and everything different was the natural way of creating it then.”  – Gertrude Stein, Composition as Explanation
Sticks & Stones poses questions about the material nature of things and the relation of matter to representation. The exhibition comprises a ‘twin’ form that has been copied into a series of different mediums. The original object (made up of materials, prototypes and samples from the artist’s former New York studio) is replicated into a new copy in a different material. Each sculpture is a copy of its predecessor, not of the ‘original.’ The nature of the sculpture is translated into a new embodiment, a metamorphosis of form.
The series is a pathway towards abstraction. Copies made of ceramic, marble, aluminum, and veneered wood, are lined up one after another, each replicating its predecessor as closely as possible without denying its individual materiality. No images are used as intermediaries. Each copy is crafted by hand and eye from its precursor. While the discrete sculptures never fully detaches from being a representation of its predecessor, abstraction exists as a tension.
This concatenation of objects and materials is not intended to signify a specific historical period or tradition, but each represent a time period and methodology that is anachronistic. Still, the complex history of the Belizean mahogany from which the original pair are made, finds a place within the narrative of both the original sculpture as well as its sequential neighbors: the trees were first logged for export by the British, accidentally sank in riverbeds during transportation, and lay forgotten in the mud for over a century.
Sticks & Stones embodies paradoxical strategies of transformation and sequence, recalling Gertrude Stein’s logic: “Everything is the same except composition and as the composition is different and always going to be different everything is not the same.”
Lucy Skaer (b. 1975, Cambridge) lives and works in Glasgow. Recent solo exhibitions include Yale Union, Portland (2013);Exit, Voice and Loyalty, Tramway, Glasgow (2013); Force Justify, CAB Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Caja de Burgos, Burgos (2013); Lucy Skaer, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2012); and Scene, Hold, Ballast, Sculpture Center, New York (2012). Recent group exhibitions include Art Under Attack – Histories of British Iconoclasm, Tate Britain, London (2013); Suicide Narcissus, The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2013); 9th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2013); and Spies in the House of Art: Photography, Film and Video, Metropolitan Museum of Art (2012). In 2009, Skaer was shortlisted for the Turner Prize, and in 2007, she represented Scotland at the 52nd Venice Biennale.
Composition as Explanation by Gertrude Stein was first delivered by the author as a lecture at Cambridge and Oxford. The essay was first published by the Hogarth Press in London in 1926 and revived in the volume called What Are Masterpieces.
For more information or images, please contact the gallery at +1-212-463-7372 or info@murrayguy.com. Concurrent to this exhibition, Peter Freeman, Inc. will present Lucy Skaer: Random House, 8 January – 21 February 2015.