The Hole is delighted to announce Kidnapping Incites Years of Murderous Doom, a solo exhibition of new works by Adam Parker Smith—his second with the gallery—on view October 21 to November 19, 2017. Taking Homer’s epic saga The Iliad as its point of departure, this body of work updates and explores Greco-Roman classical sculpture using materials such as mylar balloons, resin, fiberglass and EVA foam.
The exhibition title is a cheeky six-word paraphrase of The Iliad introducing us both to the classical theme and the conceptual artist's distinctive sense of humor. Using this ancient text as a thematic structure, Parker Smith explores formal concerns such as gesture and movement through the enigmatic transformation of material. While his first exhibition at The Hole featured store-bought balloons recontextualized, in this exhibition Parker Smith creates his own custom-made balloon shapes by cutting out mylar sheets himself. Lining the material with fiberglass and applying multiple coats of resin, he utilizes a one-way air valve to articulate the form of the sculptures, building them up to create human and vase-like shapes that reference Classical statuary.
In the first room of the exhibition, groupings of customized mylar balloon shapes are remixed into Spartan warriors, Odysseus, Prometheus or other Greek tropes. Fifteen Greek vases fill an alcoved wall of the rear gallery, many of which are faux-bronzed to look recently unearthed from some sort of dig. Equal parts Met Museum and 99cent store, this display of baffling objects in a stylized presentation collapses centuries of sensibility. In the above piece, EVA foam is printed in faux-marble, fake bronzed on the back and then shaped into three undulating female figures holding vases. Is it a playful allusion to the impermanence of Classical materials and the oft-idealized historical representations of the female body, or is it a bizarre new sales approach at the vase store?
Underlying each piece is a sense of humor and sincerity derived from the artist’s obsessions, fears and desires. Kidnapping Incites Years of Murderous Doom is a psychologically acute exploration into the tragicomic and perverse nature of artistic production and consumption.
Adam Parker Smith is a New York-based sculpture and installation artist. He received his BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz and his MFA from Tyler School of Art. Smith has attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Sculpture Space, Bemis, Djerassi, Jentel, and Atlantic Center for the Arts. His work has been shown widely in the US, as well as internationally at Urbis, Manchester, England; Nordine Zidoun, Luxembourg; Priska Juschka, New York; The Delaware Center for Contemporary Art; The Berkshire Museum, Massachusetts; The Soap Factory, Minneapolis; Painted Bride, Philadelphia; Parisian Laundry, Montreal; and TSST Gallery in Hong Kong. Smith’s work has been written about in The New York Times, Art in America, Beautiful Decay, The Village Voice, Artforum, Art World, Whitewall Magazine and the New York Post.