Jeremy Laing

WIL ABALLE ART PROJECTS | WAAP
1129 East Hastings St.
Open by appointment only

Jeremy Laing, Pattern Painting Sculpture, 2020, acrylic paint, yarn, and monk’s cloth on stretcher, glazed stoneware, upholstery piping, staples, nail, 69 x 22 1/2 x 2 1/4”.

n Jeremy Laing’s “New Work” at Wil Aballe Art Projects, cords and yarns are wound into soft line drawings held in place by ceramic hooks and vessels. These lines suggest organs and limbs—limp arms and dangling legs. And in works such as Pattern Painting Sculpture, 2020, and two pieces titled Accessorized Single-Sitting Sampler, both 2018–20, they wrap around rugs made from found yarns in firm embraces. Laing has adorned the latter works with crude stoneware buttons made from scraps of clay, and the places where he’s punched through the surface—making holes for the fibers—look like skin broken open by hungry fingers. In the former work, the rug’s monk’s cloth is stained with the same muted hues as the white upholstery piping that borders the piece.

Informed by different facets of Laing’s practice—the artist has made clothes, videos, and sculptures, often in collaboration with other artists—these works articulate the aliveness of objects and diagram humans’ entanglements with the nonhuman. Plastic hand-shaped fly swatters in pastel colors wave from a hanging pot in Swat Pot for Three, 2020, while in New Nails Festoon, with thanks to Diana, 2020, and “Global Best Beauty  as branded, with thanks to Margot, 2019, materials that normally extend and adorn human bodies—dyed hair and acrylic nails—fan out in delicate, creature-like arrangements.

In “Hollow Habits, for Liz” – the first gay I ever knew, 2020, a pile of folded hand-dyed monk’s cloth sits on the floor, enveloping the pear-shaped opening of a pot, protecting something both hard and fragile. Used first as picnic blankets and then as packing material for this show, the colorful cloths are imbued with the warmth of past use—their edges unwind in an open invitation.

— sophia bartholomew


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