New York – E.V. Day: “Semi-Feral” at Mary Boone Through October 25th, 2014

October 25th, 2014

E.V. Day, CatFight (2011-2014) via E.V. Day Studio

On view now at Mary Boone’s uptown gallery is the haunting sculpture series Semi-Feral by artist E.V. Day. The show centers around a large, site-specific sculptural piece comprised of multiple casts of saber-tooth tiger skeletons floating above the floor of the gallery space.  Day’s work, often concerning sexuality and femininity, takes its point of departure here from the slang term “cat fight.”  A phrase that typically robs a fight from any viciousness, Day returns the notion to its original, ferociously natural element.

E.V. Day, Portable CatFight (2007) via Mary Boone Gallery

Playing off the negative space and harsh lighting that fuses the relationship between her sculptures, Day uses the texture of the strings holding each piece in place to create a mesmerizing, shimmering effect. At the same time, the comprehension of the objects brings a sense of the macabre, and silver plating along the teeth of the frozen animal figures brings a strange sense of glamor.  Throughout the show, the fierce, twisting feline motions of the sculptures gives one an immediate sense of urgency and natural awareness.  Rather than assume a static placement of the work, Day’s position charges the show with a visceral energy.

 E.V. Day, CatFight (2011-2014) via E.V. Day Studio

Two smaller sculptures contained within metal cages, Portable CatFight and Bridal Supernova create a different sort of tension by being contained within these prison-like confines. The massive energy emitted by the movement of these smaller sculptures becomes quieted and objectified, providing a certain a voyeuristic pleasure. It is not dissimilar to the public experience, or perception, of a “cat fight”.


E.V. Day, Bridal Supernova (2006) via Mary Boone Gallery

Semi-Feral is somewhat simple in its visual elements, yet its emotional, social, and psychological effects allow a gradual emergence of complex phenomenological impacts.  Negotiating a tenuous space between the wild and domestic, it carries with it a certain poetic bluntness. Day’s work is, in these ways, provides a strong example of her ability to work with and unify the harshest of contradictions.

— E. Heinz

Related Links:
Semi-Feral [Mary Boone]
E.V. Day [E.V. Day Studio]