Lives and works in Toronto, Ontario
In the work of James Carl, everything is not what it seems. Styrofoam containers turn out to be precious objects crafted in marble. Discarded car tires reveal themselves to be hand-made sculptures in corrugated plastic. An expertly-arranged group of vending machines is in fact a brilliantly witty sculpture, fountain, 1997, an homage to the Readymades of Marcel Duchamp that have influenced Carl’s practice as well as, in its own way, an iconic 21st century sculpture to Capitalist consumer insta-culture. The sculptures seen here, newly created for this exhibition and seen for the first time, belong to the series Jalousie, begun by Carl in 2005 in Paris and consisting of hollow, amorphous objects mounted on pedestals and constructed from Venetian blinds, which are known in colloquial French and German as jalousie. Referencing both “fine art” and craft, as well as the formalist dichotomy between negative and positive space, the shadows and interiors and air of the forms become the substance of sculpture.
On view at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
To hear the artist’s audio statement, click the audio player below: