Spirit of the Times

October 19 - December 21, 2019

Opening Reception:
Saturday, October 19, 7-9pm

Lowell Ryan Projects

Image:  Nature of a stately being. Outstretched arms, bursting with newborn stars.  (detail) , 2019

Image: Nature of a stately being. Outstretched arms, bursting with newborn stars. (detail), 2019

Lowell Ryan Projects is pleased to present Los Angeles-based artist Alicia Piller's first solo exhibition Spirit of the Times. The show will feature an expansive installation of several large-scale, intricate sculptures throughout the gallery.

Alicia Piller uses sprawling and knotted fields of latex and vinyl in her installations and wall works. The combination of raw materials, photographs, and news clippings twist together to form a kind of fragmented mirror of the current state of America. Her work references the trials and tribulations of this country's history and offers optimistic glimpses of a possible future with bright colors that show signs of life and proliferating forms that show signs of growth. Piller weaves into the work references to nature, family, capitalism, colonialism and industrial production in pieces that span the personal and the political.

One of the primary works in the exhibition, Bulging veins. Stately being in its forthright mood, mottled with a tortured history., is a wall-sized mandala, a cluster of swirling bright green, blue and red latex and vinyl. Throughout the colorful forms are embedded photographs of flowers and plants. At the center is a slowly decomposing cue ball, a sphere not unlike our endangered planet.

Across the wasteland, a twisted melody. Matter and spirit., another central work in the show, resembles a whale skeleton in size and shape. Rib forms reach out from the gallery floor, and horrors from the news are woven into the structure. Viewers can walk through the carcass and see press clippings from the last 200 years about gun violence and white supremacy. The piece holds the emotional effects of contemporary life while asking us to bury these societal evils. 

In Anticipates her future. Pearls and fruits, bows and arrows., a painted image of an archetypal woman squints in anguish. She embodies the spirit of our times and this reflective, transitional moment in our history. The word "PERMUTATIONS" is spelled out at the piece's base, questioning how we arrived where we are today. 

Dissected sycamore seeds found throughout the work are broken up and reconfigured, symbolizing the dispersion of immigrant populations throughout our country. Elements of Spirit of the Times show us death and destruction, but also conception, birth, and transformation. The works convey an optimistic future, which imagines our past and present accomplishments and failings composted into new life.