On view this month in New York, Lehmann Maupin presents an exhibition of new work by London-based artist Do Ho Suh. Working across various media, including sculpture, drawing, photography, and film, Suh engages ideas of home, memory, psychic space, and displacement. In this exhibition, Suh expands on his exploration of the politics and subjectivity of memory, a concept that has remained central to his practice over the last 25 years. For this exhibition, the artist returns to his long fascination with the role of public monuments, using his signature approach towards fabric to create replicas and embellishments of items, spaces and bodies.
The presentation opens with Inverted Monument (2022), a large-scale sculpture made of extruded thermoplastic polyester developed as part of an ongoing research project with a robotics team at the Centre for Print Research, UWE Bristol. Combining robotic and analogue techniques, this project arose over the course of the pandemic and demonstrates the artist’s interest in questioning the authority and agency of the artist’s hand. Intricately rendered, tangible yet diaphanous, Inverted Monument draws on generalized concepts of an “ideal” monument based on the lexicon of Western statuary and the power structures it upholds. The requisite commemorative figure is positioned upside down within the body of a classically proportioned pedestal, the top of the figure’s head grazing its base. Here, Suh redirects the viewer’s gaze from the top of the pedestal to its very bottom, turning the logic of the public monument on its head and challenging what and who we choose to elevate in civic spaces.
Also included in the exhibition is a new work composed of elements from Suh’s long-running Specimen series. Comprising detailed fabric replicas of objects from his past and present residences and studio spaces, Suh’s Specimen include doorknobs, light switches, cupboard handles, and bath fittings. Each sculpture is precisely measured and modeled after a household object that has been habitually touched by the artist—those with which we often have a deep and unquestioning familiarity. While Suh’s Specimen are typically exhibited in groupings based on type or location, in this exhibition the artist brings together more than 400 objects to create a new installation, titled Jet Lag (2022). Uniting multiple geographies and different phases of his life in a single work, Suh collapses physical coordinates and linear time, presenting each Specimen as part of the sum of a lifetime’s domestic memory and opening up the possibility of space as transportable.
Continuing the exploration of space and our relationship to it, the artist’s show closed November 5th.
– C. Rhinhardt
Do Ho Suh [Exhibition Site]