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Oliver Herring

Oliver Herring
NEW YORK  •  Max Protetch Gallery  •  Ongoing

For this show, Herring has continued to collaborate with strangers and friends to produce sculptural works and videos. Continuing his project from his 2004 exhibition at the gallery, Herring has produced new life-size figures, sculpted from life and plastered with thousands of photographs. In an unusually intimate encounter between artist and model, Herring convinced his two subjects, Wade and Sheryl, one a stranger and one a longtime friend, to pose nude in his studio where they would be sculpted from polystyrene and photographed in extreme closeup, documenting every square inch of their bodies.

Oliver Herring: Wade
Oliver Herring: Installation View
Photo courtesy of Max Protetch Gallery

Departing from the literal, photo-realistic aspect of previous works, here Herring manipulates the contrast and saturation levels of the photographs. Asserting his subjective involvement in the process, Herring produced two Wades, thus enabling viewers to compare drastic differences between the irregularly cloned figures. With these new works, Herring also stripped the models of their clothing, directly addressing their nudity as a means of amplifying the intimacy of his experience with the subject.

Oliver Herring: Wade
WADE 2006 digital c-print photographs, museum board, foam core, and polystyrene
68 x 22 1/2 x 15 inches 172.7 x 57.2 x 38.1 cm
Photo courtesy of Max Protetch Gallery

As a counterpoint to the figures, Herring will incorporate his Task performances ó large-scale participatory events predominantly self-directed by participants ó into the exhibition through photographs of his most recent event at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and an interactive blog that invites past participants and viewers to exchange ideas. The four past Task performances have been executed at museums and urban landmarks and were designed to create platforms for strangers from diverse backgrounds to interact with one another and express parts of their personality often left dormant.

The exhibition also features three new videos and a number of smaller photographic sculptures. A myriad of images shot during the process of making the works will also be shown; they are fragments and outtakes extracted from a multi-tiered creative process.

According to the exhibition organizers, the artist identified the ideas of play, failure, and inclusiveness as key elements in working toward a more open process of art making. To achieve this, Herring has explored different strategies, ranging from intimate and private activities, or in the case of the Task performances, monumental interventions in public space.

Oliver Herring earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Oxford, Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, England and a master's degree from Hunter College in New York. Herring has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.

Max Protetch Gallery Web Site

Contact: 511 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011-1109
Tel: (1) 212 633 69 99

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