'Lost Mix Tapes' by Stephen Neidich featuring contorted rusted steel Venetian blinds on view at Wilding Cran Gallery

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'Lost Mix Tapes' by Stephen Neidich featuring contorted rusted steel Venetian blinds on view at Wilding Cran Gallery
Detail: We’re taking 3 cars, 2023. Unistrut, steel slats, nylon string, 60 x 58 x 7 inches, 152.4 x 147.3 x 17.8 cm.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Wilding Cran Gallery is now presenting Lost Mix Tapes, an exhibition of recent works by Los Angeles-based artist Stephen Neidich.

Breaking away from his recent explorations of kinetic sculpture and installation, Stephen Neidich’s rusted steel Venetian blinds twist, contort, and snag though static interventions that remind us of the humor and familiarity of utilitarian dysfunction. In this series, the distressed steel has been further impacted by a combination of chemical agents introduced by the artist and unseasonable Southern California rains. Birthed from the nexus of chance, emotion, and experimentation, Neidich’s practice works to push his pieces to the brink, discovering the limits of their function and survival.

While the sculptures’ varied poses and contortions may recall the effects of thwarted motion, Lost Mix Tapes pushes the button of natural movement, elevating the universally experienced technical failures of Venetian blinds through playfully exaggerated gestures. Neidich’s choreography of each piece sets a stage of characters, some tenderly toyed with, some draping delicately to the floor, some elegantly twisted in an off-kilter fiction, replicating the absurdity of our attempts to control. Upon encountering the series, we may be inspired to conjure fictive histories, from the pried open peep hole in All The Answers Are In That Book to the comedic vertical twist of We’re taking 3 cars. However, Neidich distances his work from narrative to focus on the ironic allure of each blind as an aesthetically constructed object.

There is a certain romantic nostalgia that permeates the exhibition of Lost Mix Tapes, as the viewer contemplates objects as they are, once their function and technology have been rendered obsolete. It is through this ironic foreboding that we may locate the relationship between the cassette tape and the decommissioned Venetian blind, as physical markers of emotion, happenstance, and the passing of time. These are sculptures of curated machination, yet it is through their heightened futility that Neidich captures the performative grace of inert objects, further rendered through our attempts to interpret their dysfunctional elegance.

Lost Mix Tapes is Neidich’s third solo exhibition at Wilding Cran Gallery.

Stephen Neidich (b. 1984, New York, NY) is a Los Angeles-based artist working in sculpture and installation. He holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA from CalArts. His work has been included in group exhibitions at FELIX Art Fair, Los Angeles, CA; Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NY; Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; The Underground Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Hilde, Los Angeles, CA; Chimento Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA; Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, CA, LA>
Wilding Cran Gallery
Stephen Neidich: Lost Mix Tapes
November 4th, 2023 - January 6th, 2024

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