LOS ANGELES, CA.-
Suspended States, the acclaimed new installation by Santa Monica-based assemblage and sculpture artist Maddy LeMel is in its final weeks at the George Billis Gallery
LA (2716 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90034). The exhibition, which is in conjunction with Pacific Standard Time, runs through January 2 (Dec. 24-Jan. 2 by appointment only. LeMel, who has been called a scavenger poet, is known for mixed-media constructions incorporating found objects that are reclaimed and given second lives in pieces created with wire, screen, thread, paper, metal fragments, and a deft articulation of light and space.
LeMels new pieces for Suspended States are wire and metal cages containing vintage tools from the artists extensive collection. The tools exist almost as anthropomorphized characters, contemplating escape through the openings in each cage. Connected by winding ladders, the works form a cohesive installation. Also featured are smaller, wall-mounted pieces, which LeMel calls shadow works, that evoke memories of past entrapment.
In an essay for the show, Constance Mallinson, a Los Angeles-based painter and critic who has written catalogues for exhibitions and reviews for such publications as Art In America, wrote, Through combinations of the most ordinary objects that mysteriously morph into potent symbols and allegories of shifting human emotions, conditions, and situations, transformation has come to define the sculpture of Maddy LeMel.
With her latest work, LeMel balances the notion of actual physical confinement with self-inflicted prisons of emotion, convention, and habit. Stepping outside our familiar worlds could cause us to plummet to the ground, she says, or perhaps we would learn to fly. Images from the show, and press links, are available on the artists newly updated website, www.maddylemel.com, and on her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/MaddyLeMelArt. LeMel and Suspended States were recently filmed for a forthcoming documentary film on California artists.
LeMels work has been shown in museums and galleries in the U.S. and Europe. Recent solo exhibitions include ones at the George Billis Gallery in New York City and Los Angeles, Barnsdall Art Park, and the Louis Stern Gallery in West Hollywood. Of the latter, Holly Myers wrote in the L.A. Times, We see keys, photographs, fragments of text, and bits of metal and wire preserved in cocoons of paper and plastic while threads dangle seductively, waiting to be unraveled. She has also been featured in the Los Angeles Art Show and Art Now Fair in Miami Beach, and numerous group shows.
Born in Chicago, Maddy LeMel studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. She has lived in the Los Angeles area since 1962, and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Southern California.