Man is a Bubble, Time is a Place

Dmitri Obergfell

March 23 — May 06, 2017

Opening Reception
Thursday March 23rd | 7pm - 9pm

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Gildar Gallery is pleased to present our second exhibition with Dmitri Obergfell, Man is a Bubble, Time is a Place. For this complex presentation, Obergfell has created free standing sculptures and wall based works that explore impermanence, entropy, and unstable symbolism turning his eye to relationships with time – a continuing theme for the artist. Navigating the concept of the altered readymade through an anthropological lens, Obergfell employed an assortment of industrial materials to amplify objects connections  to dilated time.

Inspiration for the exhibition title comes from a pairing of two metaphors – the classical allegory of the bubble as a symbol of human life’s fragile brevity with a physics reference to understanding time as a malleable element linked to physical locale. The works invite viewers to consider the way in which an awareness of impermanence leads us to locate new relationships with the past, present, and future.

The artworks within the exhibition reference the human longing for permanence and desire to understand timeframes that exceed humanity’s. Symbolic sculptures and paintings are made of materials chosen for their conceptual resonance to this sense of the temporal. Several works within the exhibition are composed of polystyrene, a material that does not decompose in the environment under normal circumstances yet is highly brittle. For Obergfell, these material properties  represent a contradiction between a suspension of time and its active eroding effects.

The exhibition also includes several paintings on corrugated steel. These paintings are layered with chameleon automotive paint, a recurring material used by the artist for its crystallized properties that create shifts in color. For Obergfell the corrugated steel is a new way to engage the dynamism of the chameleon auto paint through the wave-like  surface. The painting’s refracting quality recalls the constant of change that occurs through the ever slipping vantage point of time and place.

Taken together, the works in this exhibition reflect Obergfell's longstanding interest in confounding artifact, preservation, and historic time. Though the cosmology of sculptures and paintings are made of lowbrow materials, like polystyrene and corrugated metal, they now stand as oddly sublime objects – relics of the present, that have one foot precariously in the past and another rippling in eternity.