The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

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Important Update

October 19, 2014 to April 5, 2015 |

Kate Gilmore: A Roll in the Way

The practice of Kate Gilmore spans video, sculpture, photography, performance, and installation. She is almost always the sole protagonist in her videos, recorded either privately in her studio or onsite, never rehearsed, and only attempted once. She assumes the functions of characters who are subjected to situations on constructed environments that act as the catalyst for a mélange of wacky plays on art and life.

Gilmore debuts A Roll in the Way (2014), a site-specific sculpture and video that
is a record of a private performance produced within The Aldrich’s walls. The end result of her actions is a monumental sculpture, a “container” of the performance’s aftermath, comprised of a pile of logs covered in bright paint, on a white platform. The video, shot from an aerial perspective, shows Gilmore stacking logs onto a base designed to exactly fit the camera’s frame. The action unfolds as follows: Gilmore dips logs approximately two feet long with a softball-size diameter in paint and carries
and lifts them onto the base, leaving a trace of color that gradually expands as the accumulation of logs increases until it reaches maximum capacity. The paint drips as if the wood bleeds, leaving a trace of the live event that bestows an inanimate object with emotional pathos. The sheer scale of the installation is testament to the incredible physicality of Kate Gilmore’s practice. The bodily force exerted and the sculpture’s immensity and site-specificity recall the infinitives Richard Serra used to describe his artistic process: “to drop,” “to roll,” and “to splash.”

Alongside A Roll in the Way, two recent performance-based videos: Love Em’, Leave Em’(2013) and Like this, Before (2013) are on view. Both star Gilmore and employ bold color and store-bought pots or vases, her labor here referencing Abstract Expressionism’s one shot, all-or-nothing, action-based ethos. By subscribing to its power, she forges a dialogue about identity, gender, and status. As Gilmore explains: “A pot or vase is just as beautiful with its insides spilling out. I look at the construction of the individual in the same terms.”

On view concurrently in the Balcony Gallery, with a sight line onto Gilmore’s installation, is noted influencer Richard Serra’s Bent Pipe Roll (1968), a work included in the Museum’s 50th Anniversary exhibition, Standing in the Shadows of Love.

Curated by Amy Smith-Stewart.

Kate Gilmore was born in 1975 in Washington, DC, and currently lives and works in New York City.

This exhibition is supported, in part, by the Stanley Family Fund.