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THOMAS ERBEN - Yamini Nayar

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Published on Nov 9, 2013

Yamini Nayar
an axe for a wing-bone

Thomas Erben Gallery
526 West 26th Street
4th Floor New York, NY 10001

November 7th - December 21st
Opening: November 7th 06:00 PM - 08:30 PM

It is our great pleasure to announce an axe for a wing-bone,
Yamini Nayar's second solo exhibition with Thomas Erben Gallery.
This new body of work continues Nayar's process-oriented
practice, further highlighting her method of construction and
destruction, where the finally selected photographic recording
might not be an end result but chosen from a state "in between."
This is particularly evident in a series of four black-and-white
small-scale studies, different iterations of a makeshift room where
common elements take on roles that change from image to image.
The timeline is unclear, giving a sense of parallel realities, and the
improbable constructions disrupt any sense of spatial logic as they
veer towards abstraction.

Process and temporality have always been essential to Nayar's
work: tabletop and wall-built models are fashioned from raw
industrial materials and studio debris, and continuously reworked
while being documented by the camera. The works in an axe for a
wing-bone seem even more impermanent than earlier examples,
unhinging meaning/logic in a classic surrealist clash of visual
impulses, where multiple perspectives are contained within the
same image. Constructions that previously appeared fractured but
stable have been infused with a heightened precariousness, the
delicate energy of a place whose very structure is founded on the
constant shift of time and movement. There is a presence of body
in these spaces, hands building and tearing apart, the physical
and personal merging with the space itself as each small event
leaves its mark.

One point of departure for Nayar is her research into modernist
architecture -- along with the 1920-30s design of constructivists
and the Bauhaus movement -- and its monumentality echoes
through the work: ambitious structures supported by fragile,
skeletal underpinnings. There is a sense of mimicry here, a desire
to understand and rework the tectonics of modernism, as if
someone from a distant future were trying to make sense of a
fragmented architectural past, improvising with any objects at
hand. This tension between the monumental and the unstable is
mirrored in other, similar dichotomies, as solid surfaces are
contrasted with the transparency of glass, and familiar materials
like wood and plaster intersect insubstantial fields of vague and
gauzy matter. Nayar's new interiors are no less expansive than
before, but she seems to increasingly strive towards the vertical,
which adds a new dimension of overreaching impermanence.
Similarly, a flattening of space has taken place, a shortening of
perspective influenced by other ways of rendering depth, such as
non-Western pictorial traditions where images are constructed
according to a different logic.

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