Exhibition marks New York debut of large-scale immersive work by Kim Faler

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Exhibition marks New York debut of large-scale immersive work by Kim Faler
Installation view (detail), Kim Faler, Double Bubble, MASS MoCA, 2020, cast brass, iron, glass, gypsum and wax, and sound elements, dimensions variable. Originally commissioned by MASS MoCA and the John Michael Kohler Art Center/Kohler Co. Courtesy of the artist and PALO Gallery. Photo: Jon Verney.

NEW YORK, NY.- PALO Gallery is presenting Kim Faler: Double Bubble, the artist’s first New York solo exhibition, featuring the celebrated immersive installation of the same name most recently exhibited at MASS MoCA as part of the Fall 2021 exhibition Kissing Through A Curtain. This is the artist’s largest gallery installation to date and marks an integral step for the artist contemplating sound as sculpture.

At first approach seemingly whimsical and ethereal, Double Bubble seeks to explore recent latent collective anxiety and the weight and manifestations of resulting unconscious emotional struggles, a central theme of Faler’s across interdisciplinary practice spanning sculpture, painting and photography. Faler is known for sourcing content from the quotidien, and questioning the value placed on memories, routines and the passage of time itself.

Originally commissioned by MASS MoCA and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Kohler Co. in 2019/2020, the installation comprises a series of approximately 20 sculptures, suspended from PALO gallery’s 15-foot ceiling, to form the artist’s latest multi-sensorial landscape. Each individual sculpture is a large-scale rendering of a wad of chewed bubble gum, cast in a wide range of materials including metal, wax, chalk, glass and gypsum among others, unobscured by the accompanying pigment and paint of pastel greens and pinks. As Faler explains, the work explores “the quick and intimate forms which we make with our mouths while chewing gum...I see these forms as visual manifestations of our anxiety, and an illustration of the tension that we have come to reside with.”

The pieces, rendered at the approximate scale of an adult human head and suspended in the gallery—as they were at MASS MoCA—at the artist’s eye level, confront the viewer with their material nature and deeper implications. Sounds emitted from elements hidden in the hollow forms further question the mundane daily act of almost unconscious anxious mastication–both in the literal and figurative sense–now visible, and also audible, on an enlarged scale.

As Alexandra Foradas, Associate Curator of Art at MASS MoCA notes, “Faler’s sculptures attain a sense of false buoyancy, like bubbles fixed at the moment of being blown. As viewers wind their way through the crowd of sculptures, sounds emanate…the sonic language of bubble gum, filtered through the materiality of sculpture.”

Faler’s work has been exhibited internationally and throughout the United States—including exhibitions at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), Art Dubai, Sp/Arte in São Paulo, and most recently solo exhibitions at the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and the Beeler Gallery at the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. She has received numerous grants and residencies, including the Joan Mitchell MFA Grant, a US Fulbright Scholarship to Brazil, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency in Captiva, Florida, and the Artpace International Artist-in-Residence Program in San Antonio, Texas. Kim Faler received her BFA from Ohio Wesleyan University and her MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. She lives and works in North Adams, Massachusetts.

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