New York – Adrián Vilar Rojas: “Two Suns” at Marian Goodman Through October 10th, 2015

October 3rd, 2015

Adrián Vilar Rojas, Two Suns (2015), via Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

The work of Adrián Vilar Rojas often occupies itself with remainders, leftovers, and detritus from the visual and aesthetic languages of human culture.  Suspending forms and materials in a timeless ruins that translates human-kind’s greatest accomplishments into a faded wreckage, the artist still manages to incorporate a certain degree of grace and elegance to his work, allowing the natural elements and human impulses that underscore his project to gradually take the foreground.


Adrián Vilar Rojas, Two Suns (2015), via Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

Such is the case with Two Suns, the artist’s first solo exhibition with Marian Goodman at the gallery’s midtown New York location.  Citing an interest in horizontality and outsider perspective, the artist has crafted a set of fragmented, chipped tile work that spans the gallery floors.  Consisting of interlocked black and white plates, the full construction can only be viewed from above, a perspective not afforded to the average gallery-goer.  Instead, one must traverse the space, allowing the tile-work to gradually unfold oneself, or to shift based on one’s vantage point.  This shifting, peculiar experience of space is complemented by immense drapes hanging down from the ceiling of the gallery, giving the space a dramatic, albeit funereal atmosphere.


Adrián Vilar Rojas, Two Suns (2015), via Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

But the real shock of the exhibition comes on the other side of the curtained hallway that divides the gallery’s two main exhibition rooms.  There, soaked in the light streaming from outside, rests an immense version of Michelangelo’s David, massive in scale and laid on its side as if sleeping.  Surrounding the work is another series of tiles, this time appearing as if they had been cast from uneven piles of dirt, or gravely eroded from years of harsh exposure to the elements.  Further, sealed inside these tiles are crushed soda cans, bones and other human refuse, setting in their quiet implication of a humanity expunged from the face of the earth.


Adrián Vilar Rojas, Two Suns (2015), via Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

Taken as a whole, Rojas presents a vision of the anthropocene that manages to appear as elegant as it does fatalist, carrying all the pathos, structural cast-off and collective anxiety of a potential planetary extinction while presenting it in a setting that combines this sense of decay with a vocabulary that at once feels effectively withdrawn from any experience of modernity.  As alien as it is damning, the artist’s suspension of reality emphasizes a history of the modern epoch as it’s being written.



Adrián Vilar Rojas, Two Suns (2015), via Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

Two Suns is on view through October 10th.

— D. Creahan

Read more:
Adrián Vilar Rojas: Two Suns [Marian Goodman]