LOS ANGELES, CA.- Edward Cella Art + Architecture
presents new work by Los Angeles based artist Steve Schmidt. Schmidts sculptural practice is informed by a process based interest in the collection and assemblage of found objects. The artists newest body of work, Gyres, explores the sculptural synthesis of rhythmic accumulation and the social significance of aggregated materials in the context of timely environmental concerns.
Schmidts Gyres series consists of concentric sculptural pieces made from the recuperated waste of a common household object. The monochromatic sculptures are fluid, organic, flower like shapes, and yet made from the handles of reclaimed plastic milk jugs. The artist mutilates and distorts the hard plastic scraps, and binds them with an internal armature of wire and cable ties to invisibly delay our recognition of the sculptures humble parts, creating surprisingly elegant sculptural works from lowly refuse. Schmidts practice is firmly rooted in the traditions of assemblage and found art, as he seeks materials from the banality of the everyday and reinvigorates them with new purpose and meaning. Gyres is inspired by the artists continued interest in the site specificity of accumulated materials, in the process of collecting and accumulating, and in the cultural relevance and geographic context of the found object.
Schmidt created this series of work in reference to the chaotic momentum of the great Pacific garbage patch; a whirling vortex of synthetic detritus and flotsam trapped in the currents of the North Pacific. The work references the rampant excesses of consumption, the detritus of natural disaster, and a contemporary environmental phenomenon in which the overabundance of these itinerant synthetic castaways takes on an uncanny life of its own. The Gyre is an oceanographic system of rotating currents, and in the context of Steve Schmidts work, a material chaos with an indeterminate axis. The Gyre is without finitude or definite boundaries, an agitated and interminable process of movement and accumulation. Gyres resurrects waste and bestows it with new life, while reminding us of the exponential increase of the disposable. With hundreds of protrusions radiating from a central core, the work becomes a bountiful emblem of lowly discards reincarnated as aesthetic object in the artists hands. Schmidt transforms the found object, allowing its former life and social valence to become part of its new form. The work is unexpectedly beautiful and elegant, and yet retains traces of its former social context to remind us of its source.
Steve Schmidt is a Southern California based artist who has exhibited extensively throughout California in both solo and group exhibitions. Schmidt has exhibited extensively with Carl Berg Projects, and is concurrently featured in Abstraction, a group exhibition at the Irvine Arts Centre, in Irvine California.