November 7 — December 21, 2013

NEW YORK — Sgorbati Projects is pleased to announce the gallery’s inaugural exhibition with work by Pavel Acosta, Livia Corona, Ignacio Lang and Gabriela Salazar. Each artist, through acts of intervention—theft, documentation, arbitrary appropriation, formal reinterpretation—modify established systems, repurposing these structures for their own intents.

Photographing various squinting subjects while positioned directly in front of the sun, Pavel Acosta turns the search for light, a pursuit common to much of human history, into a reaction to its excess. This constraint nullifies ethnic identity through the theft of signifying attributes. As often the case with Acosta’s work, the medium, in this case light (requisite to the photographic process), becomes an essential conceptual device. Part of a larger body of work, Stolen Ethnic Background (Jaipur, India) (2008) illustrates a primary focus of his practice: recording theft as a means to fulfill necessity. Here, the artist himself is cast as purloiner.

Livia Corona’s work chronicles promises, resilience and reinvention. Metepec, Lagunillas, Lower East Side (2013) is part of her ongoing project documenting a flawed system of government-constructed grain silos. An estimated 3,558 silos were built throughout Mexico from the 1960s to 1990‘s. The majority never functioned as intended and were either abandoned or repurposed as homes, classrooms, public bathrooms, protestant churches or stables. For this installation, Corona draws inspiration from the work of painter Francisco Goitia (1882-1960) who depicted a series of original grain silos built in the late 1800s (on which the modern government program was based). Whereas Goitia lived in and painted the silos under varying qualities of natural light, Corona collects photographs she makes of these silos, then remodels them as motifs for light studies and abstractions. The artist uses a system she developed for standardizing color output on an analogue CMYK enlarger—her own source of light, artificially created in a New York City darkroom.

Weird but True (2004-), is an ongoing archive collected by Ignacio Lang of nearly 20,000 newspaper clippings from the New York Post's column of the same name.  The column contains short news stories which, with alternately comic, tragic, historic or political twists and turns, reveal the peculiarities of our contemporary civilization.  (Weird but True refers to “strange but true,” a phrase used by Plato in the First Alcibiades and later popularized in English by Shakespeare in Macbeth, Act III, Scene IV.) In a new body of work presented here, titled Columns (2013), the artist uses a cut-up or fold-in technique to scramble the standard narrative structure of stories from the archive in order to create new, yet cohesive texts.  Each text is then paired with an image found on the internet and etched by laser into a panel.  

Using the built environment as the framework for her site-specific installations and sculpture, Gabriela Salazar exposes underlying, and often unrealized, attempts at idealized form. For this exhibition, she shows a series of wedges made through the forced manipulation and reimagining of materials. The wedge, a "simple machine," gives its shape to the shim, traditionally used in construction to make things more “right" or to fill a gap; and the ramp, a multiplier of forces. Here, Salazar utilizes the leftover and auxiliary components of her studio practice: a piece of metal shelving, engineered stone, wood, encaustic paint, embroidery thread, polyester webbing—remainders of previous projects and unrealized ideas—to create sculptures that, while utilitarian in form, are functionally useless. Stripped of their inherent possibility as raw material, they reanimate as simple homages to the process and structure of their existence as art objects.

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Pavel Acosta
Stolen Ethnic Background (Jaipur, India), 2008
30 x 24 Inches
edition of 5
Livia Corona Benjamin
Metepec, Lagunillas, Lower East Side, 2013 photo installation
dimensions variable
(Lower East Side)
Livia Corona Benjamin
Metepec, Lagunillas, Lower East Side, 2013 photo installation
dimensions variable
Livia Corona Benjamin
Metepec, Lagunillas, Lower East Side, 2013 photo installation
dimensions variable
Ignacio González-Lang
Columns, 2013
16 x 12 Inches (each)
Laser on clay, board
edition: 1 + 1 AP
Gabriela Salazar
for fifth position, 2013
19 x 5 1/2 x 5 Inches
metal shelving standard
Gabriela Salazar
for For Closure, 2013
5 3/4 x 18 x 2 Inches
polyester seat belt webbing
Gabriela Salazar
for Claes, and Patty, 2013
4 1/2 by 9 x 5 1/2 Inches
encaustic paint
Gabriela Salazar
for a pair, 2013
5 x 11 x 5 1/2 Inches
old studio shoes (canvas, hemp, rubber) and plastic
Gabriela Salazar
for between Milton and Noble, 2013
5 x 10 x 4 Inches
ound engineered stone, found wood, acrylic
Gabriela Salazar
for A Mown Lawn, 2013
silent trimmer line