Lehmann Maupin would like to announce an exhibition of new work by Bryan Crockett. This is Crockett's first solo exhibition at Lehmann Maupin and it includes new sculptures and drawings.
Bryan Crockett was born in Santa Barbara, California in 1970 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Since graduating with an MFA in sculpture from Yale University, Crockett has exhibited at the Kunsthalle Basel, Exit Art, Fotouhi Cramer Gallery, and the 1997 Whitney Biennial. In that same year he was the recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. Crockett's recent work has focused on the effects of the growing authority of science in western society. Casting test subjects from science into religious allegories, Crockett points to what might be seen as a spiritual void in contemporary technological culture.
This exhibition centers on seven cultured marble sculptures of newborn mice personifying the seven deadly sins. The figures are representative of actual mice engineered for the study of human diseases. Crockett imbues these sculptures with sacredness and pathos owing in large part to his use of marble, which has a long history of use in religious sculpture and can bear a striking visual likeness to the human body. While these sculptures have the appearance of natural, carved marble, the material is actually marble crystal cast with polymer binder making it artificial and cultured. Crockett does not see these sculptures as part of the debate over the use of animals in laboratory experiments; rather, he is concerned with the gradual usurping of the authority of Judeo-Christian religious doctrine by that of the rationality of science.
Also included is a sculpture of a Somatosensory Homunculus, a figure in which each body part is proportioned in relation to its relative sensitivity as mapped on the sensory cortex of the brain. The result is an awkward and tragic figure constantly suffering the sensations of pleasure and pain. Among the drawings included is a composite of hundreds of Crockett's sketches and doodles that serves as a table of ideas and images he has cultivated in the process of creating his work. In Crockett's view it is from these collected ideas and feelings that we distill our common culture, which he sees as an ultimately artificial process of shaping minds through pedagogy and art, and bodies through biology.