Magazine article Artforum International

Ross Knight: Team Gallery

Magazine article Artforum International

Ross Knight: Team Gallery

Article excerpt

Ross Knight

TEAM GALLERY

One of my favorite Instagram feeds, going by the handle @techappeal, sifts for pictorial gold among athletic, medical, and technological product photography. Featuring such psychoactive eye candy as space-age sneaker soles set against ethereal gradients, flawless limbs sporting latex prophylaxes in antiseptic-blue environments, and spotless anatomical teaching aids shot against pastel infinity screens, its imagery is routinely airless and otherworldly yet grounded in an ineluctable mortality. The feed catalogues a nascent zone of our collective digital imagination, a creepy realm of artificial perfection that artfully pits narcotic sterility against corporeal apprehension.

A similar dynamic lurks at the heart of Ross Knight's latest exhibition at Team Gallery. Titled "Human Stuff," the show comprised nine relatively compact, self-contained sculptures--one floor-bound, two freestanding, the rest perched atop spindly custom plinths--adroitly dispersed throughout the space. A cohesive arrangement by virtue of reasonably consistent scale, related materials, and a muted, predominantly bone-and-skin-tone palette, the cluster of works came across as part gallery display, part medical-industry trade show. Once the viewer zeroed in on individual pieces, this impression was confirmed by an apparent tension between abstracted bodily form--fashioned in the studio by fairly conventional sculptural means--and a somewhat mystifying functionality, courtesy a variety of amalgamated readymades. Calling to mind flesh, prostheses, and hospital apparatuses, the overall effect of this elegant, if a little icky, ensemble was one of torqued seduction and somatic unease. Helmut Newton, Matthew Barney, J. G. Ballard, and David Cronenberg began to crowd my consciousness.

Most of the plinth-mounted works center on a core component (the sculptural, bodily aspect) crafted from solid white urethane, machined and carved into odd, softly geometric masses. These are augmented by evocative objects and materials (the quasi-functional aspect): either handmade, faux-biotic forms or depurposed found elements, such as the clear-acrylic backbone of a therapeutic device designed to provide relief from spinal pain; a large block of yellowing, machine-cut foam rubber (studded with plastic suction cups); and the mangled innards of an underarm-deodorant applicator. …

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