Gladstone Gallery Brussels is pleased to present Movements and Variations in Two Parts, an exhibition of new works by Sharon Lockhart spanning two neighboring locations: Gladstone Gallery and Jan Mot. The exhibition features a series of photographic and sculptural works that stem from Lockhart’s ongoing interest in portraiture, choreography, and the empowerment of women.
Lockhart’s longstanding investment in place is evident both in the work presented and in the installation. The artist has spent years visiting the Sierra Nevada Mountains, often returning with manzanita, buckeye, and black walnut sticks which she presented as gifts to friends. These physical traces of the landscape gained symbolic form in her relationship with the girls of Rudzienko, with whom Lockhart collaborated for her presentation Little Review in the Polish Pavilion at the 57th Biennale di Venezia. Through the sticks, Lockhart could share a part of her home with the girls and they became a unifying force for the group. For Movements and Variations Lockhart has cast a selection of the sticks in bronze. The exhibition presents them in two forms: a series of bronze sculptures and nine photographic portraits. This doubling is further complicated by the installation’s fracture into two exhibition spaces.
Arranged in collaboration with Ravi GuneWardena from the Sogetsu School of Ikebana, the bronze sticks balance form and weight in six different arrangements. The series A Bundle and Five Variations (2018) features an inherent property of casting, the ability to multiply and play. Lockhart and GuneWardena took their initial bundle of nine sticks and derived five variations with successively fewer elements. Together, the sculptural iterations reflect both the natural and constructed relationships of the sticks.
Lockhart’s corresponding photographic works, Nine Sticks in Nine Movements (2018), feature a female protagonist, Sichong Xie, performing a set number of precisely choreographed poses with each of the nine bronze sticks, whose weight and form appear to dictate the subject’s actions. The photographs capture the exchange between choreography and the physicality of the bronzes, as the branches are employed as balancing tools for Xie, who physically connects to the objects with strength, focus, and poise. Each position, or movement, is methodically planned with reference to a myriad of stances borrowed from social and art historical sources.
Like much of Lockhart’s work, the simple and cleanly composed elements that constitute this exhibition belie a rich humanism and complex web of narratives and associations. Themes of collaboration, nature, labor, play, feminism, and agency echo amongst the elegant forms and architecture of the two galleries, prompting viewers to meditate on the role of aesthetic experience in their lives. Bringing beauty into the world is both healing and inspirational, a lesson Lockhart has brought to our attention in the last several years of work with the young women of Rudzienko.
The works in this exhibition were commissioned and produced by Fondazione Modena Arti Visive in 2018.
Sharon Lockhart (born 1964) lives and works in Los Angeles. Lockhart’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at international institutions including Fonzadione Fotografia Modena, Italy; the Museu Colecção Berardo, Lisbon; Arts Club of Chicago; Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Waltham; Wiener Secession, Austria; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, Cambridge; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Wolfsburg Museum, Germany; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her films have been included in the New York Film Festival, Vienna International Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival. In 2017, Lockhart represented Poland at the 57th Venice Biennale with her multidisciplinary project, Little Review, organized with National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, Poland, and more recently, presented a selection of works from the Venice Biennale at FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, Ohio.