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Kylie Lockwood: Becoming a Sculpture

November 9 – December 21, 2019

Kylie Lockwood:

Becoming a Sculpture

January 11 – February 22, 2020

Matéria is pleased to present Becoming a Sculpture, Kylie Lockwood’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.

Kylie Lockwood is an interdisciplinary artist whose work reconciles the experience of living in a female body with the history of sculpture. For Lockwood, the making of an artwork is a performance, a way of testing the limitations of her body. Her relationship to material is intimate and untethered to perfecting its capability. In this exhibition, Lockwood engages art historical themes rooted in classical Greek and Roman works of antiquity, as she re-examines poses through the exploration of her body as sculpture.

The central work in this show Attempting Accroupie is a re-performance of the Crouching Venus, a Hellenistic model of Aphrodite at her bath. Originally created over 1800 years ago, Lockwood seeks to occupy the space of its form, to hold its pose, embody its posture and enact its stance. The artist sits low with her legs drawn up tightly beneath her. Stooping close to the ground, her arms reach across her body as her neck cranes to look over her right shoulder. Lockwood’s fallible body is attempting to fit an “idealized” form.

Through the process of directly pulling plaster molds off her skin, Lockwood is making a fossil. The molds capture the performance of that moment; the trace of a living thing engaging in restriction and endurance. Lockwood substitutes porcelain, the material language of doll making she inherited from her maternal grandmother, for the canonical marble. Fragile porcelain skins are pulled from the molds while still soft. The stress of this transition shows up in cracks, abrasions and occasionally the collapse of the surface. These forms shrink when fired and become a concentrated vitreous version of her flesh. The work is hollow and perforated. Fractures and voids disrupt the conventional distinction between interior and exterior.

Throughout the exhibition echoes of the artist’s body are visible. A porcelain cast of her thighs stand in contrapposto, on a soft wet base of clay. The front portion of an archaistic foot stands firmly planted, its toes adorned with a fresh coat of pearlescent nail polish.

Lockwood’s sculptures offer an opportunity at permanence, yet the fate of sculpture is ultimately to break. To break is the point. To empathize with the ancient is to identify with the fragment; to feel the pressure of entropy through an abbreviated form in which time has chipped away.


Kylie Lockwood (b. 1983, Detroit, Michigan) received her BFA from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and her MFA from Hunter College in New York. She has been an artist in residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Hambidge Center for Arts and Sciences, Offshore Residency, Caldera and Contemporary Artist Center. Lockwood recently completed a permanent public sculpture in collaboration with the Department of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Oregon Lewis Integrative Science Building. Her work has been exhibited at PS1 MOMA, Long Island City, NY; Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI; Cleopatra’s, Brooklyn, NY; Lord Ludd, Philadelphia, PA; Synchrotron Radiation Center, Stoughton, WI; Coop Gallery, Nashville, TN; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn, NY; Popps Packing, Detroit, MI. Lockwood currently lives and works in Detroit, Michigan.

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