Manneken Press presents an exhibition of photographs and sculpture by Gary Justis
“Gary Justis: Head On Horizon” can be viewed online on Artsy.net through July 15 2020. The exhibition consists of seven kinetic sculpture/light installations and fifteen photographs. All works in the exhibition are for sale and available exclusively from Manneken Press.
G ary Justis is known for his mesmerizing and dynamic sculptures inspired by mechanical motion and the cause-and-effect actions of machinery. In recent years his fascination with light has led Justis to create sculptures and photographs that use light as both subject and medium. These works form the essence of “Gary Justis: Head On Horizon”.
Works such as “The Pond” (2013) and “Sun Cell” (2016), fabricated with a raw, mechanical vocabulary in aluminum, steel, plastic, wood, and wire, move with eccentric kinetic rhythms, projecting motile light images into the surrounding environment. There is an arresting tension between the hard, metallic, machine esthetic of the objects and the soft, organic imagery of the light projections that suggests elements of nature: water, a sunset, etc. “Head On Horizon Redux” (2010) is the largest of Justis’ kinetic pieces. The viewer is overwhelmed with the beauty and dynamism of the object itself while simultaneously taking in its projections and the narrative of an overlaid looping video (made in collaboration with LJ Douglas) amid the cacophony of mechanical noise the piece generates. It is truly operatic in scale and ambition.
Clickable hyperlinks to videos showing each sculpture in situ are included throughout the exhibition.
J ustis’ photographs are extensions of his practice in sculpture, kinetics and light. They expand Justis’s visual language and in turn build upon photography’s historical progression. The photographs explore both abstraction and visual metaphor. Rather than photographing extant objects or scenes, Justis employs analog procedures to create them. Using LED, incandescent, refracted and reflected light, Justis manipulates the projected light with optics to create images that suggest life forms, objects and peculiar structures, capturing them using photography and video. The images range from characters or portraits of otherworldly figures (“Caprese”, 2019) to suggestions of magical seeds (“Beautiful Seed Bed”, 2019), or alien craft (“Approach”, 2020). These images possess “an unknowable consciousness or inter-dimensional presence that momentarily disrupts the viewer’s casual expectations with a familiar incompleteness, something we naturally associate with human and/or metaphysical subjects”. The images form a conciliatory relationship between themselves and the viewer, hovering between abstraction and literal images.
Above: “Rise #4″, 2020. Archival pigment print, edition of 3. 48″ x 36”
About Gary Justis:
The subject of over 100 exhibitions, Gary Justis has exhibited widely across the United States and beyond. His most recent solo exhibition was at the Chicago Athenaeum, Galena, IL. Manneken Press published several series of monoprints by Gary Justis in 2011 and 2016. They will be highlighted in an upcoming Artsy exhibition and can be viewed here. Gary Justis’ work is included in numerous public and corporate collections, including the National Gallery of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Modern Art Library; Fogg Museum; and Illinois State Museum. His work has been reviewed in ARTFORUM, Art In America, ARTnews, Art & Antiques, Sculpture, New Art Examiner, and Arts Magazine. He lives and works in Bloomington, IL.
Above: “Beautiful Seed Bed”, 2019. Archival pigment print, edition of 3. 48″ x 34″
“Voi Jillsant”, 2015. Archival pigment print, edition of 3. 48″ x 36″.