[“Consumptive Head” (2011), cast archival polyurethane resin with studio & personal detritus, found, salvaged, recycled objects & waste. “Pink Head” (2011), cast archival polyurethane resin with studio & personal detritus, found, salvaged, recycled objects & waste. “Convergent Head” (2011), cast archival polyurethane resin with studio & personal detritus, found, salvaged, recycled objects & waste.]
Departing from previous installations, Richard Dupont’s second solo exhibition at Carolina Nitsch Project Room presents a series of new sculptural works taking a more experimental approach to process and materials. With physiognomy giving way to the sculptural process in this show—up at Carolina Nitsch Project Room through June 25, 2011—Dupont has upended the historical motif of the self-portrait bust. Material content within each piece varies dramatically: Seen collectively the work represents a dense, contradictory, and paradoxical compression of time and meeting.
With the social landscape and Dupont’s own body as his works’ starting points—what results are sculptures, prints, installations, and public projects merging the individual and collective. Culminating from his previous deconstruction of the body vis-à-vis works derived from his politically notable 3-D laser scan at General Dynamics, Dupont’s new sculptures subsequently reconstruct body forms out of material residue. Art and non-art materials (including a 10-year accumulation of studio and personal detritus as well as daily waste), salvaged objects, and foodstuffs have provided fodder for his work—molded and bonded together permanently using an archival polyurethane resin.
In addition to the “busts,” this installation includes new sculptures based on casts of various bag shapes. Also cast out of archival resin, their clear, transparent surfaces mimic today’s ubiquitous garbage bag. Within these solid castings are the same accumulations of detritus on finds in the head sculptures. Permanently frozen in time, these objects portray the body/machine of late capitalist consumption—defined by the waste product of that consumption in all its internal contamination. Echoing the body both formally and conceptually, these vivid, gem-like works give permanence to everyday ephemera and waste and reveal a sculptural strategy of transformation, regeneration, and renewal.
Reviving aspects of figurative sculpture, Dupont has taken an anthropological approach emphasizing the interdependence of social and individual processes in a “co-construction” of meaning. To achieve this emphasis, Dupont immerses archaic and classical figurative forms in a “stew” of contemporary concern. In doing this he underlines the present influence of historic precedent. At the most benign, processing ever-increasing information in the digital age affects our view of the physical world. Conversely, this wealth of data—surveillance, tracking, statistical quantification, genetic testing results—have the potential for more ominous results. Dupont’s work in this show is informed by this reality.
Dupont’s work has been shown internationally and has been acquired by such institutions as MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the New York Public Library.
Through June 25, 2011
534 West 22ndStreet NYC 10011